top of page

(UK) Stortford: 2 yr wait for ASD/ADHD assessment; 10 yr wait national average

Dec 18, 2023, Stortford Independent: Herts children face two-year wait for autism or ADHD assessments

Near London

Children in Hertfordshire are now waiting two years to be assessed for autism (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Last week, Karen Taylor, chief executive of the Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT), told the county’s health scrutiny committee the waiting time was “not acceptable”.

But she reported that it was lower than in some other parts of the country, where she said patients could face waits of up to 10 years.

Addressing the meeting, she said: “The big issue is ADHD and ASD diagnosis, and there is a two-year wait for a young person for that assessment and diagnosis at the moment.

“Compared to nationally there’s up to 10 years waiting, so you can be an adult in some places before you will ever get that assessment.

“Two years is not acceptable – and I will say that out loud – and it came up in the recent SEND report that you are probably aware of from Ofsted as well. It’s something we are working together to address.”

Prof Asif Zia, HPFT’s executive director for quality and medical leadership, said there had been a 30% increase in the number of referrals for ADHD and ASD, with almost 100 new referrals a week.

He said a child’s diagnosis was prompting other family members to seek assessment, creating greater demand for the service….

A pilot project in south and west Hertfordshire was reported to have led to an increase in the number of young people being assessed and receiving ongoing support.

HPFT director of strategy David Evans said there were plans for the trial to be rolled out across the county, in addition to other support measures.

HPFT supports people with mental ill health, learning disabilities and autism across Herts, Essex, Buckinghamshire and Norfolk, employing around 4,000 people who deliver services in the community and in inpatient settings.


bottom of page