Extra support for Nottinghamshire residents waiting for autism diagnosis

Nottinghamshire residents who are waiting for a diagnosis of autism will now receive additional support thanks to a new service.

By Lucy Roberts
Thursday, 30th September 2021, 12:15 pm

There is currently an average waiting time of 12 weeks for a first assessment for autism and the local waiting list for diagnosis stands at 411 people.

Agreement has been given for a new pre-diagnostic service which provides information and support to people from the earliest opportunity.

The service will include information and guidance, the development of a Nottinghamshire Autism Alliance to support organisations delivering services and other key individuals including experts by experience and people in the voluntary and community sector, and expansion of existing online learning resources for people and their families.

People waiting for an autism diagnosis can now get extra support.

The resources are provided via YouTube and offer initial tools, information, tips and useful techniques to people with autism and their families.

Councillor Boyd Elliott, chair of the Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee, said: “People who have already been through the process of waiting for an assessment have fed back that a lack of guidance or support can have a negative impact on their mental health.

“This service will help to close the current gap and offer people information and support in a timely manner, which we hope will prevent a deterioration of their situation.

“We know that issues such as housing, debt, safeguarding, education and employment can negatively impact on a person’s mental wellbeing.

“By supporting and signposting people to services within their community whilst they are waiting for a diagnosis, we can help them to avoid a mental health crisis.”

The agreement for the new service follow a successful bid to NHS England by the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Transforming Care Partnership for £84,000 of funding.

A further £76,000 of partnership funding is set to be added to this, if approved by the Learning Disability and Autism Executive Board, giving a total of £160,000 for the service for one year.