Living with Autism in East Cheshire

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Cheshire East examined the experiences of cares of children and adults with autism in the local area. Over 5 months in 2015, the team engaged with over 200 carers at community groups and events. Most responses came from people who were caring for their children who were on the Autistic Spectrum (including Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD). Consultations with CAMHS and the CCG were also held by the team. The report highlighted a number of key themes that arose from the carer’s feedback. There is a disparity in diagnosis across the region. For some parts of the region, there were significantly long delays to receive an assessment appointment. This is partly attributed to that the region is covered by two CCGs. Similarly, there is a disparity between schools’ approaches to children with autism. Some schools didn’t seem trained or experienced with supporting children with autism and Asperger’s. A lack of support was highlighted by the carers. They suggested there was lack of support for adults living with autism and Asperger’s and felt there was a lack of crisis care and support for families. The carers also suggested that there was not enough information about the support available to them and their families and parents felt there was a ‘blame culture’ from the professionals. The report made a number of recommendations. The diagnosis process in Eastern Cheshire was being reviewed at the time of publication. Therefore, the team urged future pathways to consider the provision of crisis care, the development of a directory of services to improve awareness of available support and to better join up services for integrated care. While the response from the service provider is not included in the report, a separate publication, 'Response to Autism Report' October 2015 details their response to this report.

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General details

Report title 
Living with Autism in East Cheshire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cheshire East
Date of publication 
Thursday, 1 October, 2015
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Health inequalities
Information providing
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Other information of note about this report 
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Diagnostic and/or screening service - single handed sessional providers
GP practice
Mental health services 
Learning disability service

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
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? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
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.