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Out of area referral

(13 Posts)
debs40 Wed 28-Oct-09 19:52:47

Hi

Has anyone got any experience/knowledge of obtaining a referral to a specialist out of their PCT area?

My son is on the waiting list for assessment/diagnosis to see if he is on the autistic spectrum but there is only an ad hoc, informal service in my area which is not officially funded - don't ask me how it works.

There is a centre in Wales which will assess and diagnose and work out appropriate strategies to help (at both home and school) but it will need an out of area referral.

Is this difficult to get?

MarthaFarquhar Wed 28-Oct-09 19:55:52

Yes. Your GP will need to convince your PCT that there is a special reason why your DS is different to other children with AS and in need of a very specialist service.

The logic is that unless there is something unique about his case, then they would have to provide this service for everyone, which is something the PCT has obviously decided not to do.

herbietea Wed 28-Oct-09 19:57:16

Message withdrawn

debs40 Wed 28-Oct-09 20:36:37

MF - I can understand that logic but what if they don't provide a service at all, so in effect, it's not that he needs a specialist service, but a service.

It's a multi-disciplinary assessment process and there are very few areas which have properly skilled personnel with appropriate expertise. The centres which focus wholly on these issues tend to be centres of excellence.

In my area, accessing an adequate service out of area is more than I have access to currently. The head of the informal diagnostic team has told me in writing that no funding for her work exists and that they are partially trained

purplepeony Wed 28-Oct-09 20:56:01

I thought that the new rules which came in a while back said that you could see any dr/etc anywhere -just ask?

purplepeony Wed 28-Oct-09 20:58:35

Just to add- your PCT surely has a child development centre?
Here, anyone suspected to be on t he autistic spectrum is assessed by them.

You could always have this done privately, and there must be info from the national organisations which support parents of autistic children- have you thought of contacting them for advice?

debs40 Wed 28-Oct-09 21:02:59

Yes and there is massive inconsistency between areas nationally. My MP is also investigating.

They do have a child development centre for the under 5s. He is nearly 7. Further, ASD assessment requires the involvement of a psychologist, psychiatrist, speech and language therapist and occupational therapist as well as a paediatrician. This is where the problem lies. If there is no funding for this 'linked' work, the professionals involved carve time out of the working week, where they can, to assess cases for which they are not trained by their employers (it is not their speciality) and for which they are not funded.

I have this in writing.

purplepeony Wed 28-Oct-09 21:13:29

Yes, I know what the referral needs- I work with kids on the AS.

In our PCT they are seen by the team.

Phone the national autistic asso. helpline.

debs40 Wed 28-Oct-09 22:02:31

As I say, in our PCT, there is no funding for that team.

I have emailed the NAS who say "there is currently no official set of guidelines on how long an assessment should take or what should be involved. The process, people involved and length of time will vary from area to area but many do operate a multi-disciplinary approach. There is a document called The National Autism Plan for Children that has been produced as guidance on good practice in autism diagnosis, but is currently not binding."

I'm sure you are aware of that if you work in the field.

This is why my query is not what does the assessment process entail, but how easy/difficult is it to be referred out of area in view of the absence of provision here.

purplepeony Wed 28-Oct-09 22:54:44

You can ask for a referral to any specialist in any area now, so why should this be different? see Herbs post. Have you asked?

debs40 Wed 28-Oct-09 23:15:41

Hi, thanks yes, I raised it with my GP and have a meeting with her fixed to discuss it.

The Centre I want my son to go to has told me that it is a matter for the PCT and that PCT criteria vary from area to area.

So, I wondered whether anyone had any experience of getting a referral through their PCT.

alypaly Thu 29-Oct-09 17:02:57

debs40
had no difficulties in our area with getting referrals to other PCT. It is you right to choose who you want to see.stick to your guns.

debs40 Fri 30-Oct-09 08:37:24

Thanks. I have a meeting with the GP set up to discuss so I'll see what they say

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