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Autism assessment waiting list management update

By 23rd November 2023No Comments

We know that early diagnosis and intervention is important and can greatly improve outcomes for children and young people with autism and other neurodivergent needs. We are trying to make improvements so  children receive prompt assessment and support.

Tackling long waiting lists for autism assessments is a key priority for Sirona and we are going to be working with Healios, a UK digital healthcare company, over the next four months to ensure more families can be seen promptly.

This means some children and young people and their families will be offered online autism diagnostic assessments with our teams over the next six months. A similar offer before the pandemic received overwhelmingly positive feedback from families.

The online approach means a parent/carer and their child or young person can use a secure online platform to interact with a clinician, take part in interactive tasks and questionnaires. It is used by other NHS teams across the country.

Clinicians will be reviewing those on the waiting list and contacting families who have been waiting the longest to offer a digital assessment and offering them the choice. Remaining on the waiting list for face-to-face assessments will remain an option.

More information can be found on Healios‘ website.

This project is being supported by the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB) and is part of the work taking place to help us support need which has increased significantly in our area, as it also has nationally. We are working hard to identify ways of delivering services differently so all children with neurodivergence can have their needs met in a timely way.

Other ways of addressing the waiting lists and support available for children, young people and their families are also being explored as part of a new transformation programme led by the ICB in partnership with our local parent carer forums.