Autism diagnosis crisis wins
Long waiting times for autism diagnosis have pushed people to crisis point for too long. So in August 2015 we launched a campaign to help end the autism diagnosis crisis and change things for the better.
Our campaigning pushed the Government and NHS to tackle some of the obstacles preventing timely autism diagnosis, in significant ways. For the first time ever the NHS will start to measure the number of people diagnosed with autism in every area of England.
The data can play a vital role in getting waiting times down, because it shows how many autistic people there are in a given area, so that services can be planned and budgeted for.The campaign pushed the Government to include reducing the inequality faced by autistic people in its ‘mandate’ to the NHS.
This means it’s now a central aim of the NHS in England to make sure autistic people can access health services, including diagnosis. We’ll be pushing to make sure this creates real change in services.
We are also continuing to work on this across the UK. In Wales, improving access to diagnosis is part of our campaign for an Autism Act in the nation. In Scotland we worked on the revision of guidance for professionals on diagnosis. In Northern Ireland we know that some local trusts are breaching waiting times laid out in ‘Six Steps of Autism Care’. They continue to work on this behind the scenes.
In just five months, we’ve achieved historic commitments from the Government and NHS in England towards people with autism. Our efforts won’t stop here – we will continue pushing to make sure these changes make real improvements for people waiting for an autism diagnosis.
Find out more here: www.autism.org.uk/Diagnosis-Crisis