Autism spectrum conditions report

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Summary of report content

The Autism Spectrum Conditions report was created by Healthwatch Worcestershire to gather feedback and experiences from people with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) in their area, their carers and professionals that are involved in their treatment. The report looks at the current levels of awareness and understanding of Autism Spectrum Conditions within health services in Worcestershire and ways in which services are currently supporting and making adjustments for those on the Autism Spectrum. This was with a view to feeding into the Worcestershire All Age Autism Strategy. Work on ASC was chosen as a Healthwatch Worcestershire priority following feedback received through previous engagement and surveys they had collected, as well as it being raised by members of the Reference and Engagement Group, who represent and support people with an ASC and their families. Specific concerns had been raised about waiting times for diagnosis for children and adults, lack of awareness and understanding of Autism within health services and difficulties in accessing appropriate information and support. The report was created using mixed research methods, including surveys of individuals (including children) with ASC and their carers as well as GP practices. Feedback was collected from Worcester Acute Hospital Trust, Worcestershire Health and Care Trust, Care UK and West Midlands Ambulance Service. Group discussions with groups that support people with ASC also provided feedback, including NAS Companions Group and Bromsgrove District Housing Trust youth group. Healthwatch Worcester use this feedback to inform work being done by commissioners and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust to develop information about the Umbrella Pathway. This included collating and reporting feedback about experiences of the Umbrella Pathway, which is is the Worcestershire pathway for assessment of children for ASC. The report contains a comprehensive set of recommendations, under the following headings: Diagnosis, Information and Support - Diagnosis pathways, accessing Information, support; understanding and awareness of ASD; access to health services. The recommendations are aimed at specific services with a description of where and how they can improve. Autism Spectrum Conditions includes Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Pathological Demand Avoidance and other names that have been previously been given as a diagnosis.

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General details

Report title 
Autism spectrum conditions report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Worcestershire
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 27 March, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Complaints procedure
Continuity of care
Health inequalities
Holistic support
Information providing
Integration of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Quality of treatment
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Other information of note about this report 
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Psychiatry / mental health (other services)
Social care services 
Children services
Community services 
Community based services for people with a learning disability
Community based services for people with mental health needs

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Learning or understanding or concentrating
Social / behavioural
Types of long term conditions 
Learning disability

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Allied health care professionals
Care / support workers
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? 
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
Tangible Impact (cost related)
Tangible impact (not cost related)

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.