Cast your mind back to December 2016.
You might recall that SGlosPC reps were speaking to and giving a presentation to paediatricians at the launch of the Autism Care Pathway that had aims to better support families, improve and dramaically reduce the diagnosis process. We wrote about that event here if you want a reminder.
We have not been resting on our laurels as we found out that despite the well intentioned plan, our families were not seeing any improvement to waiting list times and the support they had been receiving as families. We have reps attending the autism working group who have been feeding back your concerns and what you have been telling us:
The waiting list has been unacceptable
Whilst waiting, the impact on parents and carers daily lives, wellbeing and often mental health is huge and should not be ignored.
There are particular challenges for those whose children do not meet the threshold for an EHCP whilst awaiting diagnosis, or post diagnostic assessment where no diagnosis is given.
To not let South Glos parents and carers who need to attend autism parenting courses such as Cygnet be worse off than their other local authority neighbours due to funding issues. There should be a creative solution for equal funding.
What we can tell you as an update
We can’t share all that is discussed at the meetings but can share as an update that:
The waiting list issue is being taken very seriously
Creative, outside of the box thinking is being employed to come up with solutions to get the waiting list down and so far, it is having a positive effect.
Exploring a triage option
Standardising paperwork across services to increase efficiency and consistancy of information shared across departments
Exploring ways to bring professionals together for assessments rather than separate appointments.
Rest assured we are voicing your feedback and making sure you are heard!
When we can give you more concrete information we will be back in touch, but rest assured we are attending the meetings, doing due dilligence when it comes to finding out the problems our community may be facing, or what may be working well. From comments in thread discussions it does seem that some of the positive impacts are beginning to be felt with some people reporting quick appointments but naturally this is something that we will be keeping a close eye on and making your voices heard.