A motion to investigate how the council can improve diagnostics and support for those suffering with Autism/ ADHD spectrum disorders has been unanimously passed at the Suffolk County Council meeting on 7th December 2017.
The motion called on the County Council to refresh its autism strategy and explore ways of improving the diagnosis times for those suffering from the condition as well as providing more support for those who need it.
It was agreed that one of the County Council’s Cabinet Committees would look into the issue and report back to the council in the next eight months.
The motion was proposed by Cllr Sarah Adams, who said; “We are delighted the whole council could support this motion. We know many people in Suffolk wait many, many months for a diagnosis for Autism spectrum disorders and this leaves families in limbo. The quicker families can get a diagnosis the quicker they can access much needed support.
“We are delighted that the administration is taking the issues of mental health seriously and look forward to hearing evidence from the relevant stakeholders in order to identify new ways of delivering these services that will improve the lives of those families who need this support.”
The Motion read:
Given the increased pressure on the county council’s budget, especially within the delivery of high needs services for children and adults, it is vital that services for autism spectrum disorders and ADHD needs are urgently reviewed and improved.
Autism and ADHD conditions severely limit mainstream opportunities for children and adults in this county. Waiting times for a diagnosis are increasing and whilst this is happening families are not able to access the help they need.
To explore possibilities of decreasing waiting times and that required support is provided in Suffolk the Council Resolves that the Care, Wellbeing and Health Cabinet Committee produce a report to:
- refreshing its Autism and ADHD Strategy;
- developing an action plan to implement the new Strategy, for children, adults and the transition period;
- explore the possibility of developing of a centre of excellence in diagnosing autism spectrum and ADHD conditions to cut diagnosis waiting times;
- identify other opportunities to increase the availability of Autism/ADHD diagnoses in the short term;
- invite bids to develop a school in Suffolk to provide high quality, specialist teaching and learning opportunities specifically for those with Autism/ADHD related conditions;
- explore ways to limit the number of out-of-county residential placements; and
- bring a report back to the Cabinet members for Health, Children’s Services, Education and Skills and Adult Care for consideration before the committee review is completed.