Quality Care - everyone, everytime
Trust staff working hard to find solution for those with autism
18 July 2018

Dr Lesley Stevens, Director of Mental Health and Learning Disability Services at Isle of Wight NHS Trust said: “It is very unfortunate that the previous provider of this service withdrew at short notice last year leaving a backlog of cases.   Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) sought alternatives and asked the Trust to explore the feasibility of running an Island based service. We have been working with the CCG and others to try to find a solution for this group of patients.

“In trying to build a new autism diagnosis service for the Island we have had to ‘start from scratch’ in challenging circumstances where there is a national shortage of qualified staff and in some areas of the country long waits for assessments[1]. We are fortunate in having been able to recruit Professor Jeremy Turk, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and Professor of Developmental Psychiatry to lead an Island based service. Professor Turk started work on the Island on Monday 16th July and has started to review and prioritise referrals.

“We welcomed the opportunity to meet with parents and other interested individuals yesterday. The issue of autism services was also discussed at the Adult Social Care and Health Policy and Scrutiny Committee yesterday.  

“We welcome the support offered to the Trust from a variety of sources at the meeting with parents and interested parties. However, as I am sure everyone will understand, constructing a new service which will deliver the quality of service that everyone wants is not something we can do quickly. We have to ensure that appropriate checks are made before we either employ staff or sub-contract work, and the Trust does not yet have an agreed contract with the CCG as the service commissioners.

“I have great sympathy for all the families who have struggled since the withdrawal of the previous service provider.   We are working closely with the Clinical Commissioning Group to resolve the issues. The meeting at Barnardos provided an opportunity us to discuss the issues with parents and others and work with them to develop a service which will meet the needs of these children.”

[1] National Autistic Society, 18th July 2018, https://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/media-centre/news/2018-07-18-autism-diagnosis-postcode-lottery-exposed.aspx

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