The Children & Young People's Autism Service is the autism service for south Staffordshire being provided by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Accessing the service

The service can be accessed by:

Referrals

Please note: Referrals into the service can only be made by a professional who has met with the child and family.

All referrals will be triaged by an NHS practitioner.

Please click here for the Children and Young People’s Autism Service referral form. Please complete the form and forward to cypautismservice@mpft.nhs.uk.

If an assessment is appropriate, the young person will receive a face-to-face assessment to help the practitioner understand the current difficulties.

Once the team has completed their assessment, they will talk through the options available, so that together we can plan and agree the best support.

Should a referral not be deemed to be appropriate, practitioners may contact referrers for more information or will signpost the family/young person to other services.

Frequently asked questions

Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions about the Children and Young People's Autism Service.

If you have a further question, please contact the service on 0300 303 0691 between the hours of 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays) or email cypautismservice@mpft.nhs.uk.

Urgent help

The current situation is generating a lot of anxiety and we are doing all that we can to support those who are experiencing this.

We have set up a 24/7 urgent NHS mental health service providing telephone support, advice and triage. 

  • The number to call for people living in South Staffordshire is 0300 555 5001

 

Office hours

  • Contact the Children and Young People’s Autism service on 0300 303 0691 - the service is open 9am-5pm from Monday to Friday
  • Contact the First Response (social care and health) service on 0800 1313 126 - the service is open 8.30am-5pm, Monday to Thursday and 8.30am-4.30pm on Friday

Out of hours (evenings, weekends or bank holidays)

  • First Response Emergency Duty Team on 0345 604 2886

In the event of a medical emergency please go straight to A&E.

Other useful contacts

  • Emergency - 999
  • Samaritans - 01952 256161 (local call rates) or 01953 116123 (free)
  • Mind - 07434 869 248
  • ChildLine - 0800 1111
  • NSPCC - 0808 800 5000
  • NHS (non-emergency) - 111
  • Sexual Health Service - 0300 123 0994
  • FRANK - 0800 776 600

Workshops

The team have arranged the following interactive online workshops in response to feedback from the survey for families to take part in from their homes.

Places are limited for these sessions, so you are therefore recommended to call the team on 0300 303 0691 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) to book your place as soon as possible – thank you.

These sessions will be hosted by the team using Microsoft Teams. Once you have called the team to book your place, you will be sent a web link to access the appropriate session.

NB: You do not need to have Microsoft Teams installed on your computer to join this meeting. Click ‘watch on the web instead’ to view via your web browser.

Can we please ask that anyone who has booked onto a session at any of our workshops and is unable to attend to contact the service to let us know so we can offer your place to another family.

 

Introduction to Autism - Next Steps

Monday 21 September, 9.30am-11am [this session is fully booked; please contact the service if you wish to be added to the waiting list]

This interactive session is available to parents/carers and will be a follow up to the online Introduction to Autism webinar. The workshop will cover the triad of impairment – social communication, social interaction and restrictive, repetitive patterns of behaviour (rigidity).

 

Sleep workshop (two-part workshop)

Tuesday 22 September, 10am-12pm (session one)
Tuesday 29 September, 10am-11am (session two)

The workshop is for parents only and provides advice around sleep management and strategies. The second session will review strategies and answer any questions that may have arisen from the first workshop.

 

Managing behaviours that challenge

Friday 9 October, 10am-11.30am

This workshop will explore how and why different behaviours challenge, review behaviours and the messages behind them, and understand how to respond and the approaches to managing behaviours that challenge.

 

Introduction to Autism

Monday 2 November, 9.30am-11.30am

This interactive session offers an excellent opportunity for parents and families to understand their child’s diagnosis – whether for families with a recent diagnosis or those looking to refresh their knowledge.

 

Sensory processing (two-part workshop)

Thursday 3 December, 10am-12.30pm (session one)
Thursday 10 December, 10am-12.30pm (session two)

This two-part sensory interactive session is available to parents/ carers and will cover an understanding of the eight human senses and sensory integration, how they enable children to engage in activities of daily life, as well as covering the sensory difficulties that some children with autism experience impacting on their emotional and behavioural responses in school, home, community and friendships.

Service updates

If you wish to be added to the distribution list for these updates please email communications@mpft.nhs.uk with the subject line ‘Children and Young People’s Autism Service update’.

NB: the service update is being issued fortnightly until further notice. Check the Trust’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mpftnhs or this service web page for the latest news.

 

Children and Young People's Autism Service Update - 14 September 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Update - 1 September 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Update - 17 August 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Update - 3 August 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Update - 20 July 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Update - 6 July 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Update - 22 June 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Update - 5 June 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Update - 26 May 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Update - 11 May 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Update - 27 April 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Update - 14 April 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Weekly Update - 6 April 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Weekly Update - 30 March 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Weekly Update - 23 March 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Weekly Update - 16 March 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Weekly Update - 6 March 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Weekly Update - 28 February 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Weekly Update - 21 February 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Weekly Update - 14 February 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Weekly Update - 7 February 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Weekly Update - 31 January 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Weekly Update - 24 January 2020

Children and Young People's Autism Service Weekly Update - 17 January 2020

Children and Young People’s Autism Service Weekly Update - 10 January 2020

Children and Young People’s Autism Service Weekly Update - 20 December 2019

Children and Young People’s Autism Service Weekly Update - 13 December 2019

Children and Young People’s Autism Service Weekly Update - 6 December 2019

Children and Young People’s Autism Service Weekly Update - 29 November 2019

Children and Young People’s Autism Service Weekly Update - 22 November 2019

Children and Young People’s Autism Service Weekly Update - 15 November 2019

Children and Young People’s Autism Service Weekly Update - 8 November 2019

Children and Young People’s Autism Service Weekly Update - 1 November 2019

Children and Young People’s Autism Service Weekly Update - 25 October 2019

Children and Young People’s Autism Service Weekly Update - 18 October 2019

Children and Young People's Autism Service Weekly Update - 11 October 2019

Children and Young People's Autism Service Weekly Update - 4 October 2019

Voice for Change Feedback

The service attended a Voice for Change meeting on 23 January 2020 to listen to the views of parents and carers.

A list of the questions and comments raised at the session are available to view by clicking here.

We are in the process of responding to the issues raised - these responses will be included below.

Patient notes

Q: What is happening about children and young people’s files that were held by the previous provider that were not active but part of their ‘open door’ service?

Remaining files phrased as ‘working diagnosis’ are due to be transferred to us from the previous provider on 31 January. We will to write to these families to confirm we have received their working diagnosis file from the previous provider and provide them with details of how they can access the service, alongside details of the workshops we are running as these families will have access to intervention and the duty worker.

Q: I have hard copies of my child’s record from the previous provider. Do I need to hand this to MPFT?

There is not a need for parents to hand in their files to us. We do ask for a copy of proof of an autism diagnosis only. This can either be scanned/photographed and attached to an email, or sent to the Children and Young People’s Autism Service, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, The Bridge, St George’s Parkway, Stafford ST16 3NE. 

Q: Where do the notes get stored at the previous provider or be archived, or do they get sent back to the previous provider or are they archived?

The NHS has defined standards with regards to how paper records are stored. Notes transferred to MPFT will be stored in accordance with these standards. All new activity relating to your child is entered in to MPFT’s electronic patient records.

Q: Freedom of Information/subject access request pro-forma given to parents for the previous provider, to get data.

MPFT have now received working diagnosis notes from the previous provider and are reviewing these files. We will write to parents to inform them that these have been received. Any parents who wish to access their child’s records are required to follow a process called Subject Access Request. The details of this process can be provided by contacting the relevant provider.

Schools

Q: How have you communicated the change of provider to schools?

The service has continued to work closely with other services (including schools) to ensure as smooth a transition as possible during the interim period. Schools within south Staffordshire receive a monthly update from the service. Information on the service is also shared directly with schools as part of the regular contacts the team have through school observations for children undergoing assessment.

Q: I have called MPFT and they didn’t have my son’s notes. Please could you advise parents in your weekly update how to get the notes?

All files that were ‘actively open’ for assessment or intervention were transferred over to MPFT on October 1 2019. Since we attended the Voice for Change session and spoke about this, there has been a further development which we hope will simplify matters. For those families awaiting a review of a working diagnosis for the previous 18 months, these files are due to be transferred on 31 January. We will then write to these parents to notify that your child’s records have been received by us.

Q: What is happening regarding sensory support?

We are currently limited in the sensory support we can provide, whilst we recruit into vacancies. However, the service runs a number of workshops to support families and is holding an ‘Understanding sensory processing in children with autism’ workshop on Thursday 19 March from 10am-12.30pm at East Staffordshire Children Centre, Waterloo Street, Burton-on-Trent, DE14 2NJ. To book a place please call the autism team on 0300 303 0691 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday) or email cypautismservice@mpft.nhs.uk. Details of upcoming workshops are announced via the service’s weekly updates, through social media and via the service’s web page at www.mpft.nhs.uk/services/children-and-young-people-autism-service and we welcome parents with a full or working diagnosis to contact the team to book a place. Occupational Therapists have an important part to play in sensory integration. The team have a part time Occupational Therapist supporting them with interventions, (who is trained in Sensory Integration) whilst we are recruiting a full time Occupational Therapist to support the team.

Q: How are MPFT preparing for handover following the decision over procurement?

Should MPFT not be successful in the autism bid, we would work closely with the successful provider and CCGs to ensure a smooth transition of care and information. This would be overseen by a project group who would be responsible for transfer of services and cover issues such as workforce, records and I.T. All information would be transferred in full and in a secure fashion in a method agreed by all parties and in line with NHS guidelines. 

Staff currently working within the autism service will be an integral part of this process and these staff members would be eligible to TUPE (Transfer of Undertaking of Employment) to the new provider, ensuring consistency for families moving forward. Letters would be sent to all families known to the autism service providing information on the outcome of the tender and contact details of the successful provider. This information would also be available on the MPFT website and will be included as part of our regular stakeholder update.

MPFT will liaise with parent groups to set up meetings across south Staffordshire to provide face to face contact for parents who have any questions in relation to the contract award. These meetings will be arranged should the contract be awarded to MPFT or another provider.

Q: What is the lead time on appointments for new referrals?

We are currently unable to provide timeframes for new referrals; however, we are in the process of recruiting new staff to the team who will support the assessments and liaise with a range of professionals to provide additional support during the interim period to work through the waiting list as quickly as possible.  We recommend that parents continue to monitor the regular stakeholder updates available on the autism service’s web page at www.mpft.nhs.uk/services/children-and-young-people-autism-service where information will be available once confirmation of timescales can be provided. As soon as we are able to, we will write to parents with an appointment. We thank parents for their patience and understanding during this period.

Q: My child is a closed case, but I feel that she needs new support?

Parents/carers can complete a self-referral form which can be requested via email at cypautismservice@mpft.nhs.uk, along with proof of a full or working diagnosis. The service also has a duty worker available to discuss urgent concerns by telephone on 0300 303 0691 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday) regarding your child.

Q: How are MPFT planning to address waiting times?

We recognise that children and families are experiencing a wait to access services and we are working hard to establish additional capacity to meet needs as quickly as possible. We have now recruited a full time Speech and Language Therapist and two new Assistant Psychologists who will be assisting with the assessments and interventions.  We currently have posts advertised for psychologists, a specialist nurse and an Occupational Therapist.  We are also attempting to source bank and agency capacity to support the service whilst we recruit to these posts. This will provide additional capacity within the team to offer appointments across south Staffordshire. MPFT is also looking into alternative options within their children’s services and having discussions with external organisations who can provide capacity for those assessments that transferred from the previous provider.

Q: What is the position on additional diagnoses such as pathological demand avoidance (PDA), sensory processing disorder (SPD), dyspraxia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) etc?

Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)

Pathological demand avoidance (PDA) was a term first used by Professor Elizabeth Newson in the 1980s, to describe the profile of a group of children she had seen for assessment.  PDA first appeared in a journal article in 2003. Elizabeth Newson described PDA as sitting under the umbrella of Pervasive Developmental Disorder. The diagnostic criteria for autism are continually reviewed and developed. Currently the categories of Pervasive Developmental Disorders are now being replaced by autism spectrum disorders.

Pathological demand avoidance (PDA) is increasingly, but not universally, accepted as a profile that is seen in some autistic people. The term Extreme Demand Avoidance emerged as an alternative term to Pathological Demand Avoidance as some feel extreme is a more acceptable term than pathological. 

The existence of PDA as a ‘diagnostic term’ and how it fits within the autism spectrum is widely debated. With limited evidence based research there is no conclusive and agreed upon definition of PDA. What is generally agreed upon is what is often referred to as a PDA profile. People with a PDA profile are driven to avoid everyday demands and expectations to an extreme extent. This demand avoidance is often (but according to some PDA adults, not always) accompanied by high levels of anxiety.

As PDA is not a formally recognised diagnostic category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), our team would not make a formal diagnosis, however if demand avoidance is a key feature of your child’s profile we would make it known in any reports and support you in putting in place suitable management strategies.

For more information please see www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/pda.aspx.

Sensory processing disorder (SPD)

Sensory processing refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. ‘Sensory Processing Disorder’, is not a diagnosis that is currently recognised in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), however that is not to say your child may not have sensory processing difficulties.  Many children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will have sensory processing difficulties associated with their diagnosis.  These children might be too sensitive to certain sensations such as loud noises, smells, the feel of their clothes or another person’s touch. They might actively try to avoid these sensations through certain behaviours.

Some children are not sensitive enough to certain sensations such as food around their mouth, movement and body position. They might actively seek sensations through behaviours such as chewing non-food items, fidgeting or being generally on the go.

Sensory processing can be very variable from one day to the next and from one child to another.

As part of your assessment and intervention our team will help you unpick your child’s behaviours and whether or not they are sensory, or have another cause.

We know that children with high levels of anxiety tend to display a higher level of sensory sensitivity i.e. more sensitive to sensations such as noise, touch, smells and tastes. We also know that children who are struggling to communicate and express their emotions or needs sometimes use sensory behaviours to gain attention. It is important to consider both of these things in the context of sensory processing difficulties and address them alongside the sensory behaviours.

Ayres Sensory Integration Therapy/Intervention (ASI) is a form of therapy which aims to change the child’s underlying neural pathways and remedy the child’s impairment in sensory processing. We do not offer ASI as it is not an approach that is recommended by the Royal College of Occupational Therapy or NICE guidelines for Autism.

When a child/young person is referred to occupational therapy as part of the ASC service an occupational therapy assessment will be carried out using a range of assessments which could include sensory processing assessments if the practitioner felt it was appropriate.

If it is identified that sensory difficulties are impacting a child/ young person’s level of functioning, appropriate recommendations and care planning will reflect any sensory strategies alongside other occupational therapy recommendations/ interventions.

For more information about sensory difficulties please see www.autism.org.uk/sensory.

Dyspraxia

Developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, is a condition affecting physical co-ordination. It causes a child to perform less well than expected in daily activities for their age, and appear to move clumsily.

Dyspraxia is thought to be caused by the way that the brain processes information, which results in messages not being properly or fully transmitted. It affects the planning of what to do and how to do it, and is associated with problems of perception, language and thought. Dyspraxia sometimes runs in families.

While it is distinct from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) many parents notice similar symptoms, including sensory processing issues. In some cases the two conditions can co-occur. As with autism, people with dyspraxia may be over- or under-sensitive to certain sensory stimuli. MPFT has a pathway for dyspraxia in our Community Paediatrics service, including an OT/Physio joint clinic. If the CYP autism team think it appropriate a referral to support to this service will be made.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is common in people with autism. If someone has ADHD, they have significant difficulties with things like poor attention, over-activity and impulsiveness. MPFT are currently reviewing the pathway for diagnosis and intervention for children with ADHD. We hope to move towards a more integrated neuro-developmental offer. This is subject to service redesign and further discussions with the CCG. If as part of your autism assessment it is suspected that your child may have ADHD then this will be discussed with you and a management plan put in place.

For more information please see www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/related-conditions/adhd.aspx.

Q: What is happening about feedings specialist appointments?

We have been commissioned by the CCGs to provide an autism assessment and intervention service. The specification and requirements for a specialist feeding support or ARFID (Avoidance Restrictive Food Intake Disorder) would be different and we are not in a position to provide an ARFID service. However, we recognise that many young people with autism have issues relating to food and support around feeding issues related to autism will be provided in line with an autism intervention service. We will be making contact with the families that were actively open with the previous provider as soon as practically possible.Files involving children and young people who were actively receiving support around feeding at the time of the transfer have been transferred to MPFT and have been reviewed by the team.

Recognising the issues children and young people with autism can experience, we are in the process of developing a workshop focussed on food and diet in conjunction with the Trust’s Dietetic team and details of these workshops will be available shortly.

Where a specialist service is required, as with other specialist services MPFT would make an onward referral where necessary.

Q: Are the staff trained in autism or will they be undertaking some form of training?

All members of staff in the service have experience and knowledge of autism, with these skills being dependent on their role within the team. Staff who transferred from the previous provider bought with them a range of qualifications, experience and knowledge of autism and these staff have been able to provide some consistency to the families. Since the transfer from the previous provider, clinicians have also undertaken additional training on assessment tools such as Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).

Internal and external training to provide continuing professional development is available to all staff to ensure they can provide the appropriate advice and support around autism.

All new members of the team undergo an induction programme and complete any training required to enable them to provide a thorough assessment or delivery of intervention programmes.

As a team, we frequently attend external training to keep updated on any new approaches to intervention and staff make a conscious effort to maintain their understanding of current research in the field to ensure we continue to offer an evidence based service that meets the needs of families.

Q: How long will the process take once you have sent a self-referral with evidence of the child’s diagnosis?

Unfortunately, we cannot provide a timescale presently, but the team are recruiting a range of professionals to support with interventions and are offering an increasing number of workshops across south Staffordshire which include sleep, understanding sensory processing, introduction to autism, speech and language and feeding. Please feel free to contact the team on 0300 303 0691 (between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday) or via email to cypautismservice@mpft.nhs.uk for further information or to book on a workshop.

Q: Can you do consultations over the phone?

We can offer advice and support over the phone (0300 3030 0691) through a duty worker, who is trained to provide this support to families. The team welcome any enquiries or questions and if information is not available at that time, we will call families back as soon as possible. We are looking to develop other modes of consultation in the future, including telephone and video conferencing consultation.

Q: What does the new service specification say about education, health and care plans (EHCPs)? Is this a condition of remaining in the service until 25?

The future autism service is currently proceeding through the procurement process by the CCG. This specification is not the same as the interim service specification. The future autism service is currently proceeding through the procurement process by the CCG. This specification is not the same as the interim service specification. The CCG will be able to provide further information about the revised service specification.

Q: No appointments.

We would like to reassure families that appointments for assessments and interventions are taking place across south Staffordshire. The team are prioritising those children and young people who are experiencing the longest wait and the greatest clinical need.

All new referrals that are received into the service for both assessment and intervention are risk assessed at the time of triage.

We would like to thank families for their patience during this interim period. The service has experienced a number of staffing issues, leading to delays in appointments for assessments. We are taking on a number of senior clinicians, including a new Speech and Language Therapist who has joined the team and new Assistant Psychologists and are actively recruiting other clinical specialists to further bolster the team.

Should you have any specific issues or concerns then a duty worker is available by calling the service on 0300 3030 0691 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday to provide advice. 

We would also encourage families to contact the team to book on workshops that are being delivered across south Staffordshire. For further information and to book a place please email the team at cypautismservice@mpft.nhs.uk or call 0300 303 0691 during office hours.

Regular stakeholder updates can be found via MPFT website at www.mpft.nhs.uk/services/children-and-young-people-autism-service.

The service web page features:

  • Referral information (NB: Referrals into the service can only be made by a professional who has met with the child and family)
  • Frequently asked questions that provide more information both to current and new users of the service
  • Information should urgent help be required
  • Contact details for a number of other useful services and organisations
  • Workshop information
  • Weekly updates

Q: Consistency of messages on what to do for parents to progress.

Our admin team are aware that families are waiting for an appointment and the frustration this causes. We apologise that we are currently unable to confirm exact timescales for assessments or interventions to commence. As well as taking on a new Speech and Language Therapist and new Assistant Psychologists, we are recruiting other clinical specialists to further bolster the team.

We would recommend that families sign up to our weekly update which provides the latest information concerning the service – this can be done by emailing communications@mpft.nhs.uk.

With regards to advice provided by our duty worker, the team are varied with a range of professionals with differing expertise and knowledge. Each member of the clinical team has a unique background and specialism to support a multi-disciplinary approach. This provides us with the potential to have different methods in supporting any one problem, giving families alternative options around advice for their individual child.

The team work closely together and share their knowledge to ensure the best outcomes for the child or young person. If situations arise where a child or young person may benefit from access to other services or experience, our weekly multi-disciplinary team meetings help to facilitate this.

Families may be suited to, or have a preference for a different approach, but any advice given is in line with the family’s current needs and will be evidence based. Every family is unique, with differing needs and circumstances, but if an approach is not providing the expected outcome, we would welcome a further call into the office to discuss alternative advice or support mechanisms.

Questions/observations from Autism Pyramid Group members

Q: Child has a working diagnosis – are they likely to be seen by MPFT or will they have to wait for new provider?

Any child or young person with a full or working diagnosis has access to our range of interventions and workshops provided by the service. For interventions, families would need to complete a self-referral form (which they can do by emailing us directly at cypautismservice@mpft.nhs.uk) and we would require evidence of a diagnosis should this not currently be available to the team.

We have now received the files from the previous provider for families that are in receipt of a working diagnosis. We are in the process of sending out letters to these families whose files have now transferred over and further information will be contained within these letters.  However, we would like to reassure parents and carers that until such time that a review of the diagnosis can take place, the working diagnosis will remain valid and does not expire without a review.

Should MPFT not be successful in its tender to provide the service on a substantive basis, then we will work closely with the new provider to ensure a smooth transition of services and this will include those families awaiting a working diagnosis review.

Q: Timescale from referral by GP for autism assessment?

We are unable provide specific timescales presently concerning the commencement of an autism assessment. We are in the process of recruiting new staff to support with these assessments and appointments will be arranged once these staff are in post.

All referrals received, whether from a GP, school or other health professional are triaged by the referral team and added to the waiting list in order of date accepted.

We will share more information through our weekly update around timescales for assessments to commence as soon as possible and we thank families once again for their patience during this period.

Q: Transfer of files from the previous provider – where are our children’s notes and files being stored?

All files transferred from the previous provider are stored securely.

Q: I had one appointment with the previous provider, but have heard nothing since.

We would like to reassure families that appointments for assessments and interventions are taking place across south Staffordshire. The team are prioritising those children and young people who are experiencing the longest wait and the greatest clinical need.

Should you have a query relating to this then please email the team, at cypautismservice@mpft.nhs.uk or call 0300 303 0691 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday) and we will be happy to check our records. We would encourage families to sign up to the service’s weekly update to receive the latest information – this can be done by emailing communications@mpft.nhs.uk

Q: Have been told I am on a waiting list.

The team are aware of those families that are currently on a waiting list for assessment or intervention and these records have been reviewed to identify those with the longest wait and assessed for risks. The team are prioritising those children and young people who are experiencing the longest wait and the greatest clinical need.

We would recommend that families sign up to our weekly update which provides the latest information concerning the service – this can be done by emailing communications@mpft.nhs.uk.

Q: I do not have a specific appointment date and have spoken to PALS to complain.

We thank everybody for their patience during this transition and we do understand that this is very frustrating for everybody involved. We are doing all we can to help, and apologise that we cannot offer precise appointment dates to all children waiting. We are writing to parents where we are in a position to offer appointments. May we please also remind you that we have a clinician available to talk with you if you have any specific queries or concerns. The Trust’s Customer Services Team (PALS) is available for advice and support and to receive any concerns you may have. They can be contacted by:

Q: Feel like interim provider is not providing a service at present.

We recognise this is a difficult time for families and again thank you for your understanding during this time. We would like to reassure families that appointments for assessments and interventions are taking place across south Staffordshire. We are also offering a wide range of workshops to support families – the latest information is shared through our weekly update (which you can subscribe to by emailing communications@mpft.nhs.uk), via the service’s web page at www.mpft.nhs.uk/services/children-and-young-people-autism-service and also through MPFT’s Facebook account www.facebook.com/mpftnhs.

We are also continuing to meet face-to-face with parent groups to listen to parents and receive feedback, ideas and suggestions.

We welcome any feedback or suggestions should parents/carers not be able to attend one of these events and we will do our utmost to respond to any enquiries as quickly as possible. You can submit this feedback by emailing the service at cypautismservice@mpft.nhs.uk.

Q: Has there been communication to schools, social services and other agencies who may be involved as parents are having to tell these agencies that the previous provider are no longer responsible for autism services?

Prior to commencing the interim service, the Trust communicated this news to a wide range of stakeholders, including schools, and other agencies. During the interim service period, the Trust has continued to communicate openly and directly with a range of groups through the service’s weekly update, as well as through face-to-face meetings. Where appropriate, the service liaises with social services, schools and other professionals to ensure information is made available to those who are currently working with a child/family. The service will continue to provide regular updates through the service’s weekly updates, through social media and via the service’s web page at www.mpft.nhs.uk/services/children-and-young-people-autism-service and is committed to furthering positive relationships with parent groups to ensure information gets to those seeking access to the service, whether this be families or professionals.

Q: Main concern from parents is that their children have been lost in the system.

The service appreciates this concern and thanks families for their patience during this interim period. We also acknowledge some of the difficulties caused by the initial transition; however we can assure you that we are working as hard as we can to support these families. The team are happy for families to contact them if they have any questions or wish to speak to a duty worker around urgent concerns for their child or young person. This can be done by calling 0300 303 0691 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday) or emailing cypautismservice@mpft.nhs.uk. We continue to build on the team with a range of professional skills that will ensure a specialist multi-disciplinary service moving forward.


Service videos

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Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Trust Headquarters, St. George's Hospital, Corporation Street, Stafford ST16 3SR

E-mail: enquiries@mpft.nhs.uk 

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0300 790 7000
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