June 20, 2022, Bolton News: Bolton: Autism diagnoses are taking too long https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/20223142.bolton-autism-diagnoses-taking-long/
NW England Patients in Bolton are waiting longer to receive their suspected autism diagnosis than before the pandemic.
As of the end of March, around 160 of the 230 adults and children waiting for an autism assessment in the NHS Bolton CCG area had been on the list for more than 13 weeks, NHS figures show.
This was a 52 per cent increase from the 105 patients waiting longer than 13 weeks - the longest time someone should wait for a diagnosis following a referral, according to national guidance - at the beginning of March 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic.
Around 39 per cent of those waiting for a diagnosis in Bolton were under 18.
Tim Nicholls, head of influencing and research at the National Autistic Society, a charity supporting those with the condition, said a diagnosis can be "life-changing" and is crucial to getting the right help and advice.
“Without proper long-term funding for diagnosis services across the country, we fear that the waiting list will continue to grow, and people could be left waiting months or even years for a diagnosis.
"For many of them, this will mean struggling without support at school, work or home."