"Neurodevelopmental pathway, Referral"

About: University Hospital Wishaw / Paediatrics

(as a parent/guardian),

My son was referred to the community paediatric neurodevelopmental pathway in Lanarkshire over 10 months ago to be assessed for an autistic spectrum disorder. I expected there to be a reasonable waiting time for this specialist service. However, going back to school post lockdown proved extremely difficult for my son and his GP wrote to ask if he could be seen more urgently.

When we hadn’t heard anything after a month his GP tried to find out what was happening. After many phone calls they eventually found out that there currently isn’t a team to see these children at all in Lanarkshire and hasn’t been for over 6 months.

As a family we feel really let down as we cannot access any help for our very distressed son and are having to manage alone. I think it’s disgraceful that there is no local service for children in this situation and it’s even worse that local GPs are unaware of the situation.


Response from Duncan Clark, Clinical Director, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service, Specialist Children's Services, NHS Lanarkshire 2 months ago
We have made a change
Duncan Clark
Clinical Director, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service,
Specialist Children's Services, NHS Lanarkshire
Submitted on 29/09/2020 at 16:28
Published on Care Opinion at 16:33

picture of Duncan Clark

Dear Distressed Mother

I'm sorry to hear about the challenges faced by your son and you on the return to school following Covid restrictions. This is a very difficult time for many children and their families.

We only recently established the specialist neuro development service at the end of 2019, with most of the team just coming together in January 2020. We established this new integrated team of Paediatricians, Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Mental Health clinicians as we knew we needed to improve our clinical pathways for children affected by neuro developmental difficulties including current long waiting times.

Unfortunately, due to the necessary service changes made in the NHS as part of Covid restrictions, we had to suspend many of our clinical services. Although all of these changes in service provision were communicated to GP practices we appreciate that with so many changes taking place at once that not everyone will have been aware of all of these. I can assure you that the team still exist and we are currently working towards returning to a more normal way of working, but as you will know the situation around Covid is changing once again. The Neuro development team will continue to exist and work towards the improvement in service and waiting times that we know the children and families of Lanarkshire deserve.

Should you wish to discuss more of your concerns in private please feel free to contact me at 01698 269651 and we can arrange a more detailed discussion about your concerns.

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