Autism pathway report

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Derbyshire conducted some research over a 12 month period to better understand the experiences of parents and carers of using the Autism Pathway. The team conducted unstructured interviews which were digitally recorded and then transcribed. 26 families were interviewed in total. Several overarching themes were outlined in the report. The themes identified were education, impact on families, communication, waiting times, GPs, child and adolescent mental health services, diagnosis, support during the diagnosis, and post diagnosis support. These themes were explored in detail and a range of feedback was received. All families indicated that they had experienced long waiting times to see specialists. Families also spoke extensively about the impact of receiving a diagnosis and how this made a difference in being able to access the right support. The report made a number of recommendations. Parents wanted more support from professionals and they expressed the importance of being listened to when they were sharing their concerns. Another recommendation was for information to be better shared between relevant professionals and agencies once a diagnosis had been made. The report included a response from the Derbyshire Children’s Autism Coordinating Group. They welcomed the report and indicated that the findings would inform a review.

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General details

Report title 
Autism pathway report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Derbyshire
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 1 July, 2015
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 July, 2015
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 1 July, 2015
Type of report 
Key themes 
Holistic support
Information providing
Quality of care
Staff attitudes
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
Unstructured Interview
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Mental health
Long term condition
Types of long term conditions 
Learning disability
Mental health condition
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.