Image shows the Caudwell International Children's Centre - the headquarters of disability charity Caudwell Children.

Caudwell Children partnership helps cut autism assessment waiting time in South Staffordshire

A partnership involving Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) and charity Caudwell Children is helping to address autism assessment waiting times for young people and their families in South Staffordshire.

For the last 12 months MPFT’s Children and Young People’s Autism Service has been working with Caudwell Children to offer Autism Spectrum Disorder assessments to dozens of families.

This local joint working has helped the Trust to achieve a key target of offering an appointment to a family to commence an autism assessment within 12 weeks of a referral being accepted.

Families who have agreed to be assessed by Caudwell Children are among the first in the country to benefit from its state-of-the-art autism service at the Caudwell International Children’s Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

This has enabled more children between the ages of four and 11 to receive access to appropriate diagnoses and support – even during the challenges of the Covid-19 restrictions.

Caudwell Children CEO Trudi Beswick said:

“We’re really pleased to have been able to help the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust drive down waiting times for families in South Staffordshire.

“Our specialist team was set up because we saw all too often how long families have to wait for assessment, diagnosis or support.

“At Caudwell Children our mission is to empower families and change society so that all children can live with the same choice, opportunity, dignity and understanding.

“So we’re proud that our team have helped to remove some of those initial barriers for 45 families in South Staffordshire – especially during the challenging circumstances of the last 12 months. With a further 13 children due to visit the Caudwell International Children’s Centre for an autism assessment soon, we look forward to continuing our work with MPFT.”

Claire Bailey, lead for children and families services in MPFT said:

“We’ve really valued the partnership with Caudwell Children and the contribution it has made in the service meeting its 12-week assessment target.

“We not only thank our families and service users whose patience and understanding we very much appreciate, but also our team, who have worked extremely hard throughout the pandemic.

“We remain committed to offering a service in South Staffordshire that each and every family we support can be proud of.”

Find out more about the Caudwell Children Autism Service here.