I FOI'd every NHS board in England on autism assessment provision: here's how it went

Talk by Georgia Harper (She/Her) 👩‍👧

Sunday from 10:40 AM - 11:00 AM in Stage B

In December 2023, 172,022 people were waiting for an autism assessment. We know this because NHS England publish quarterly national and regional statistics on the size of the waiting list. What we *don't* know is how long they're waiting for, how many ultimately get a diagnosis, what the referral process is like, or what support (if any) is given afterwards - all of which is a postcode lottery. I lead policy at Autistica, the UK's leading autism research and campaigning charity. I am also autistic myself, which sometimes manifests as a chronic inability to give up. That's why, on 14th March, I sent the same Freedom of Information Act request to all 42 NHS Integrated Care Boards in England. What started as firing off a few e-mails turned very complicated very quickly; this is a whistle-stop tour of redirection, confusion, and private outsourcing. Over eleven weeks on, I *hope* I'll be able to present a national overview of the growing crisis facing autistic people and their loved ones - and what we need to do about it.

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