What people with autism spectrum conditions and their carers think of services

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Wiltshire undertook research to gather the views of people with autism spectrum conditions and their carers about health, care, and support services in Wiltshire. In total they spoke to 102 people.

An appointment with a doctor or nurse can cause considerable anxiety and stress for someone with an autism spectrum condition. Difficulties were reported in explaining things to health professionals and in understanding what they were told about their treatment and follow-up.

Hospital environments were particularly difficult for those with an autism spectrum condition. Experience of phone call and video appointments were mixed and depended on the individual concerned. However, responses suggested that these had benefits for some people.

Most of those with autism spectrum conditions and their carers did not feel that they got enough support related to their condition. We were told that most people were supported by unpaid carers. This included parents, partners, other family members and neighbours.

Other support services were valued but there was not enough information about them or their availability. There was mixed feedback about respondents’ experiences of diagnosis.

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General details

Report title 
What people with autism spectrum conditions and their carers think of services
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Wiltshire
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 7 December, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 February, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 30 April, 2021
Key themes 
Access
Communication between staff and patients
Diagnosis
Digitalisation of services
Health inequalities
Information providing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
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 
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Inpatient care
Outpatients
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Social / behavioural
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 
103
Age group 
16-17 years
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
85 +
Gender 
Female
Male
Transgender
Ethnicity 
Black/ African / Caribbean / Black British
White
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Yes
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
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
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

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.