A specialist mental health care provider is taking on autism assessments for children and young people in Scarborough and Ryedale.
From today, The Retreat, based in York, will take over autism spectrum condition diagnostic assessments for children and young people from school age up to their 18th birthday.
The Retreat specialises in providing high quality, effective and personalised autism and ADHD services to adults, children and young people across the North of England.
Families will receive more information about the new service – which will see face-to-face appointments available in Scarborough and York, as well as innovative virtual consultations – in letters being sent out this week.
Dr Peter Billingsley, NHS Scarborough and Ryedale clinical commissioning group’s associate chair and the lead for mental health services in North Yorkshire, said: “I am delighted we’ve been able to secure the services of The Retreat and their partners, Healios, for autism assessments.
“The Retreat has a reputation for excellence and will bring a level of experience and expertise to the table that we believe will significantly enhance these services for children and young people and lead to reduced waiting times and a speedier diagnosis.”
Dr Kim Bevan, chief officer (clinical services) at The Retreat, said: “We’re really looking forward to working with families, children and young people from the Scarborough and Ryedale area and this is great news for those people who need our support.
“Here at The Retreat we already assess, diagnose and support many people who are on the autism spectrum. Our team of clinicians and health professionals achieve excellent
outcomes for these people and the feedback is extremely good.
“We seek to fully understand each person and enable them to live a life that is meaningful to them.
“We will also be making good use of our dedicated virtual consultation service and working with other digital consultation providers to ensure everyone who needs it can access our service, wherever they live.”
The service will involve diagnosing children who have not already been diagnosed, in line with NICE guidance.
As part of the service, the expert team at The Retreat will also be providing advice to other professionals, including teachers, about whether to refer children and young people for
York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which previously provided behavioural services in Scarborough and Ryedale, had been working with the CCG to identify new providers after it decided it was no longer able to offer these specialist services.
Although the trust stopped accepting new referrals for autism and ADHD assessments in May, wider community paediatric and children’s therapy services are unaffected by these changes and continue to be provided by the trust at Scarborough Hospital.
Patients who require general information or advice about autism can visit the NHS website
Other useful links for families:
Families may also be able to access North Yorkshire County Council services for advice, information and support which includes the Healthy Child Programme by visiting the websites below for details:
NYCC Commissioned Services
NYCC Autism Information
NYCC SEND specialist support and provision
There are also a number of charities which provide useful information and support around children’s behaviour issues:
The Challenging Behaviour Foundation
National Autistic Society
Nip in the Bud – recognising ADHD in children
Please note, if there are any other identified health needs or concerns then parents should contact their GP for advice, support and onward referral as required to other core health
services which can address physical or mental health needs whilst waiting an autism diagnostic assessment.