"Well Done the NHS for initiating private-sector ASD healthcare - with excellent results!"

About: South Staffordshire PCT / Primary care mental health service

(as a parent/guardian),

South Staffs NHS commissioned a private-sector company "Midlands Psychology" to tackle the huge waiting list for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) assessments/diagnosis (which was 18 months-2 years!) and to work with service users to develop locally delivered ASD services.

Since MP started in Oct 2010, we have had brilliant customer-focussed service development and the waiting list was cleared. For the first time ever, both ASD children and their parents have had specialist support before, during and after diagnosis!

With ASD specialist counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy over the past 2 years, they have helped my 17 yr old son pull out of depression/suicide and enabled him to once again access his education and engage more with the outside world.

However, it could have been an even better experience if MP had been allowed to access my son's mental health medical records - as initially a lot of time was wasted on us having to go over old ground before he could get started properly with his interventions - which was a negative experience for him.

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Response from Sunita Roberts, Staff Governor, South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Eileen Patricia

Thank you for sharing your experience with us we were sorry to hear that the sharing of information impacted negatively on you and your family. However I am pleased to hear how well your son is now doing following after working with MP.

Early in 2011 MP highlighted to our trust that information sharing between services was important to the continuity of care for young people and that it was not happening in an easily accessible way. As a result in June 2011 an Information Sharing Agreement was signed between the two organisations to ensure appropriate information is shared in a timely manner and that processes were in place to ensure this happens. Service leads from both teams also meet regularly to resolve any issues which arise. We would hope that your experience will not be repeated again in the future but in light of your comments we will discuss information sharing at our next meeting to pick up any outstanding issues or concerns.


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