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Autism digital assessment

In Rotherham we know that families are waiting too long for their assessment. This is reflected in other areas across the country. NHS partners are working together to understand the current high demand for ASD diagnosis. We want to make sure services are right for children and families whether there is a diagnosis or not.

We need to add capacity into the system and are now offering further choice using new technology to undertake a diagnosis. As part of the ASD diagnosis process, NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group (RCCG) has asked Healios to work with RDaSH, the current provider, to offer an option of online diagnosis where this appropriate for the individual, based on need. Healios are working across the country to help families through similar assessment processes. Their clinicians are highly trained and experienced in autism assessments.

There are limited appointments available for assessment with Healios. We know that the online assessment will not suit all families and there are also criteria regarding who will be offered it as a choice. The criteria are based on length of waiting period and those who may benefit the most from an online assessment. Over the next few months, families who meet the criteria will be sent a letter offering the option of an online assessment.

We are introducing the Healios services gradually to make sure the service is right for children and families in Rotherham. We will continually evaluate the success of the service for Rotherham and will determine whether it is in everyone’s best interest for it to be extended in the future. This forms part of a wider action plan to improve services for children with ASD/potential ASD and overtime this additional capacity should help to reduce waiting times, alongside the work being undertaken to understand the demand for ASD services.

Parents and carers can download a leaflet below with information on the Autism assessment.

Autism assessment information leaflet

Is the online assessment as good and reliable as the current face-to-face one carried by the CAMHS service?

Yes. The Healios Autism Assessment is fully compliant with the NICE recommendations and is based on DSM-5 Criteria. Healios take the information gained from school, the initial assessment, the ADI-r and observation session into account. All of their assessments are completed by two clinicians and the outcome is discussed in a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT), which includes a senior clinician. All of the observation sessions are recorded, which means Healios are able to play back, closely observing and reviewing the content.

What if I don't agree with the online diagnosis outcome from Healios?

Healios and RDaSH are working very closely together and where there a parent/carer is unhappy with the outcomeof the autism assessment a clinical review will take place between Healios and RDaSH. Healios provide very detailed assessment reports, meaning that the information gathered can be reviewed by RDaSH.

As a parent or carer, am I allowed to be present during the assessment?

Parents and carers are key contributors to the assessment process, however during the observational assessment it is better for clinicians to interact directly with your child. Your clinician will explain this and answer any questions you have.

What happens if we start the online assessment process and realise it's not for us? Do we go back to the bottom of the waiting list?

Parents are encouraged to think carefully before making their choice about whether to accept the offer of an assessment with Healios or to remain with RDaSH. However, there may be occasions when there are good reasons why an online assessment isn't the best approach for a young person or their family. This might be identified by the family or by Healios and in either case RDaSH will be able to provide the assessment. The young person won't go back to the bottom of the list and in most cases will return to their original position . Occasionally, if the Healios assessment is close to being completed it may be possible for RDaSH to finish it without much delay. This decision will be made by senior RDaSH clinicians in liaison with Healios.

Will the result of the online assessment be accepted by my child's GP and school?

Healios works in partnership with RDaSH, and therefore any outcomes and reports are approved by RDaSH and bear their NHS logo. The diagnosis will be shared in the same way as an RDaSH assessment. NHS Rotherham CCG are making GPs aware of the additional service being provided by Healios.

Does the online assessment have to take place in our home setting?

The assessment can take place in any setting where you feel and your child/young person feels safe and comfortable. You will need to consider confidentiality, but that is your decision as a parent / carer.

Phone: 03301244222



Twitter: @_Healios_