MP Says Children Will Be ‘Left Behind’ If Waiting List For Autism Screening Is Not Eliminated Yorkshire News

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion

In an open letter, the Labor MP said many local children “have faced long delays” in evaluations for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders and these delays can be “enormously detrimental” to their development.

She said problems with the service, provided by Rotherham Doncaster and the South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), have been “apparent for several years” and she is “concerned that little progress has been made in reducing waiting lists.”

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Ms. Champion said: “Not receiving a diagnosis can mean inappropriate educational placements, lack of adequate support, and real hardships for families.

“While there is some support available, parents are rightly concerned that this is not a substitute for an accurate diagnosis and targeted care. They are concerned about the consequences for their children. “

She added: “These problems have been growing for some time and I am concerned that without a clear plan to address the long waiting lists, the problem will only grow.

“I hope that RDaSH takes these concerns seriously and does everything possible to provide the high level of care that the children of Rotherham deserve.”

After the last inspection of the trust in 2019, the Quality of Care Commission (CQC) found that more than 1,200 children were awaiting an evaluation and the list was growing, even though managers had “increased capacity through the staff overtime and simplified the evaluation process to improve turnover. “

In a report, the CQC stated: “Referrals to the service had grown exponentially to between 60 and 70 per month, but the service could only evaluate between 10 and 15 patients per month.”

Christina Harrison, director of the RDaSH child care group, apologized to the children and parents who were waiting for an evaluation.

He added: “In Rotherham, three percent of children have autism compared to 1.5 percent of the population nationally and we are working hard with the Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group and the Rotherham Council to see how we can work together to reduce waiting times.

“Using a multi-agency approach when each referral is received, we ensure that additional support services are considered while the youth awaits evaluation. We are also using some additional support from a digital partner agency and 284 updated children and youth have accessed an assessment in this way.

“In addition, we have added more information to our CAMHS website specifically for youth and their families to support access to services.

“If any of the parents want to talk to us about this service, we recommend that they contact our Patient Liaison and Counseling Service at 0800 0154334”.

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This notice was published: 2021-07-01 17:37:10

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