Skip to main content

To: Southport & Formby Clinical Commissioning Group/South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group

Change Autism Assessments In Southport & Sefton

Change Autism Assessments In Southport & Sefton

Scrap the existing, inadequate Autism Assessment Pathway for Southport and Sefton. Then replace this, with a separately commissioned unified pathway, that has a single point of referral.

Why is this important?

My son was diagnosed with Autism around 5 years ago, but not in Sefton. His diagnosis was received through one, locally commissioned NHS Trust, and looking back, the pathway to diagnosis was founded on clear, pre-determined steps that every child in the area followed. This process was well defined and simple, whilst meeting all clinical guidelines; resulting in my son receiving a diagnosis of autism within 6 months of referral.

In comparison, my daughter is currently on the Autism Assessment Pathway in Sefton. As a parent, it quickly becomes clear that this process is inefficient, not fit for purpose, and very much based on an ad hoc, undefined approach. Across Sefton, it is well known that the result of this approach, is an average timespan of 4 years to diagnose a school aged child with autism, from the time of referral. Every step on the pathway, requires separate referrals, and it has been evidenced that overall, the waiting times for each appointment, are massively outside clinical guidelines.

The results of this are catastrophic for everyone involved: The child who doesn't understand their own difficulties for example, and who is left untreated; the family who desperately need help to support their child and maintain equilibrium in the home; and interestingly, with the current system being so inefficient and time consuming, the financial implications and waste of public funds must be severe!
In fact, the consequences of ignoring this cannot be underestimated, with further health issues arising, specifically from the stress and strain placed on children and families who are left powerless.

Put simply, this MUST change with immediate effect, and Sefton's Autism Pathway brought in line with clinical guidelines at least. Simple, clearly defined steps, coming from a single referral for assessment, must be identified and put into practice. It is obvious to say, that decisions must now be made, that prioritise the health and wellbeing of children and families across Sefton. However, a clearer, unified pathway, would also bring the additional benefit, of a more cost effective approach that protects public funds.

Metropolitan Borough of Sefton

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • Daughters diagnosis went to panel 3 times but no reports from other agency were there ,consultants secretary says this happens all the time, but no one is sorting this, I sent my copy and asked school to do the same.
  • This is a matter close to my heart, I have a son who has just had a diagnosis. The process took 4 years. The sooner children are diagnosed the the better for them and their families.
  • Families and children should get the support they need, and this issue applies to adults as well - I am not autistic (I do have OCD), and went through this process in Sefton and it was awful, long waits to be seen and then a shockingly ignorant and insensitive autism assessor who knew nothing about OCD and was misinterpreting my OCD symptoms. The whole process was in my case unnecessary, convoluted and ultimately unhelpful, it must be a nightmare for those who need it.


2016-10-10 11:47:44 +0100

706 signatures...


Let's keep telling people why this important :)

2016-10-04 22:00:19 +0100

500 signatures reached

2016-09-30 11:46:16 +0100

Almost 400, let's keep pushing :)

2016-09-27 13:26:18 +0100

313 Signatures!!!!

If everyone got the person next to them to sign right now, we would double the number of signatures instantly!!

Obvious...but it would be great too!!

2016-09-23 22:32:43 +0100

165 signatures already!!

Just WOW!!!!

Wonder if we can double it tomorrow?

Too ambitious? Nah!!

2016-09-22 23:26:31 +0100

100 signatures reached

2016-09-22 13:12:52 +0100

So, at this point we have reached 67 signatures.

I'm wondering if everyone, who has already signed, could encourage their family and friends in the Sefton area to sign too!?

Thank you so much for your support

2016-09-22 09:15:44 +0100

50 signatures reached

2016-09-21 17:26:55 +0100

25 signatures reached

2016-09-21 13:16:21 +0100

10 signatures reached