Autism Spectrum Conditions, Worcestershire

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Summary of report content

In 2015 Worcestershire’s All Age Autism Strategy was approved by the Health and Wellbeing Board. The strategy sets out the objectives and outcomes for Autism services and support in Worcestershire in line with the national Adult Autism Strategy 2015 and the requirements set out in national guidance: Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives 2010. Updates about the progress of the All Age Autism Strategy are given to Worcestershire’s Health and Wellbeing Board with the next update due to be made in May 2018. Healthwatch Worcestershire, in preparation for this annual update, spent 18 months gathering feedback from people with Autism Spectrum Conditions and their carers about their experiences of accessing healthcare services, information, support and diagnosis. They also looked 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. The report suggests that in some cases, children, young people and adults have experienced long waits for diagnosis. Many felt that they did not receive adequate information about the process for diagnosis and adequate information to understand the diagnosis or what support would be available following diagnosis. The findings also suggest that people with Autism Spectrum Conditions and their carers did not feel they had been provided with enough information about support and services available and were unsure where to find this information. On the whole, the findings suggest that people with Autism Spectrum Conditions and their carers do not feel that they currently receive the level of support that they need in relation to their Autism Spectrum Condition or their caring role. In particular a need for appropriate mental health support was identified. Some health services have identified useful sources of information and benefited from individuals’ experience and specialist knowledge. This has enabled them to provide appropriate support and adjustments to patients. Others felt that there is a need to raise awareness amongst staff and welcomed further training and information. Feedback from people with Autism Spectrum Conditions and their carers suggests the importance of all staff within services having an awareness and the positive impact this has made to individuals and their care. Responses to the surveys for people with Autism Spectrum Conditions and their carers suggest that people with Autism Spectrum Conditions experience difficulties when going to the Doctors with making appointments, waiting to see the Doctor and communication during appointments. In particular they find it difficult to explain to the Doctor or nurse about the reason for their visit, the same issues were experienced when people had to attend Hospital. There were a number of recommendations made against each priority are of the strategy explored in this project.

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General details

Report title 
Autism Spectrum Conditions, Worcestershire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Worcestershire
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 27 March, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 27 March, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 27 March, 2018
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Access
Administration
Admission
Booking appointments
Building and facilities
Communication between staff and patients
Complaints procedure
Consent to care and treatment
Continuity of care
Cost of services
Diagnosis
Digitalisation of services
Discharge
Engagement
Health inequalities
Health promotion
Health protection
Holistic support
Information providing
Integration of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Medication
Patient records
Public involvement
Quality of appointment
Quality of care
Quality of staffing
Quality of treatment
Referrals
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Staff training
Support
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-6801

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
What type of organisation requested the work 
N/A
Primary research method used 
Focus group
Survey
How was the information collected? 
Survey
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Diagnostic and/or screening service - single handed sessional providers
GP practice
Urgent care services
Secondary care services 
Acute services with overnight beds
Appointments
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Counselling/improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT)
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Learning disability service
Social care services 
Adult social care
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

Conditions or diseases 
Neurological conditions
Types of disabilities 
Learning or understanding or concentrating
Mental health
Types of long term conditions 
Learning disability
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 
N/A

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
266
Age group 
All
Gender 
All
Ethnicity 
All
Does the information include public's views? 
Not known
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Yes
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
Allied health care professionals
Care / support workers
Doctors
Nurses
Paramedics
Receptionists
Service manager
Does the information include other people's views? 
Yes
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
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.