A fascinating and extremely timely question has been asked in Parliament this week by the Department of Health & Social Care.
The question asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health & Social Care, Lord Markham, what assessments have been made upon the current NHS wait times for neurodiversity assessments for children and what steps are being taken to minimise them.
The response highlighted that no specific assessment has been made on these statistics, but their is experimental data published by NHS England on a quarterly basis which does include information on how many people, including children, are waiting for an autism assessment.
Lord Markham also responded that “Additionally, in a Westminster Hall debate, on 1 February 2023, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health and Women’s Health Strategy at the Department of Health and Social Care committed to look at how we can improve data on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) assessment waiting times, to help improve access to ADHD assessments in a timely way and in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence(NICE) guidelines. On 5 April 2023, NHS England published a national framework and operational guidance for autism assessment services. This guidance, published in an online only format, will help the NHS improve their autism assessment pathways and improve the experience for children and young people referred to an autism assessment service.”
It was then discussed that in the year 2023/23, £4.2 million is being made available to improve services for neurodiverse children and young adults, which will include autism assessments and services and the support provided pre and post diagnosis, as well as the continuation of the Autism in Schools programme.
To read this answer in full, click here (Source: They Work for You)