Children in Wakefield are waiting too long for assessments to diagnose autism, inspectors say

Children and young people in the Wakefield district are waiting 'unacceptably long' for autism diagnostic assessments to be completed.

Thursday, 14th September 2017, 4:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 11:34 am

That is the finding from education watchdog Ofsted and health regulator the Care Quality Commission, who carried out a joint inspection of services for youngsters with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

In a report published last month, inspectors said: “Many parents and carers expressed their deep concern about the profoundly negative impact of these delays on their children and on their family lives.”

They said there were “significant weaknesses” in the arrangements for completing autistic spectrum disorder assessments - and that they were not assured these weaknesses were being addressed the “required urgency”.

Wakefield Council and the NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) must now produce a written statement of the action they will take.

Inspectors praised the area’s ‘improving’ arrangements for identifying, assessing and meeting the needs of youngsters with SEND and said staff had an accurate understanding of service strengths and areas for improvement.

The council and CCG said the inspection highlighted “many positive areas of provision” and they would work with parents and children to further improve.

They said: “We are committed to ensuring that all children and young people with SEND in the district receive high quality services.”