Developing a Neurodevelopmental Pathway for Shropshire

The inspection recognised that the current assessment process for Autism and ADHD in Shropshire is not effective or sustainable.This group will contribute to reviewing the existing process and to developing a new sustainable model. It has been recognised that to ensure that this service also needs to provide pre and post diagnostic support and so there will also be a focus on developing these elements too.

What did the SEND Inspection Report say about Shropshire Neurodevelopmental pathways?

  • "There is no effective pathway for specialist assessment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for children over the age of five. Recently, leaders have taken effective action to ensure that some children are assessed. However, there remains a large number of children waiting for assessment. A sustainable assessment model to address this ongoing problem has not been implemented."

  • "Improvements have been made to the ASD diagnostic pathway for under-fives to increase the timeliness of assessment and provide a more child-centred approach. For example, some children are seen in their education settings rather than having to be seen in clinic. This means that some parents do not have as far to travel and there is less disruption to the child’s education. This has also addressed capacity issues in clinics, which were creating delays in children being assessed within acceptable timeframes. Although this is in its early stages, initial feedback from parents and clinicians is positive. A pilot project is also being implemented to provide tailored ASD assessment for four- and five-year-olds."

  • "Children and young people over five years old wait too long for a specialist assessment for ASD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Area leaders do not have a robust plan to address this. As a result, many children experience significant waits and are not having their needs met within an acceptable timeframe."

  • "There is a lack of clarity for professionals and parents about the criteria and referral routes for ASD assessment for a child aged over five years old. Professionals reported confusion about who can make a referral for a child and whether referrals are currently being accepted or not. This does not assist in easing parents’ worries."

  • "Despite timely initial assessment by BeeU, some children and young people who require certain types of support for their mental health wait too long for treatment to start. In addition, children and young people who need support from the BeeU learning disability team also experience long waits for a routine appointment. Parents and professionals shared their concerns about delays in children and young people accessing support from these teams."