NHS Grampian is committed to the diagnosis of adult autism

Health chefs have bent for pressure and are now committed to start diagnosing adults with autism in the Northeast.

The press and journal recently revealed that NHS Grampian has a policy of not providing assessment or treatment to adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) unless they were diagnosed as a child.

Last month, Clare Haughey, the new cleric health minister, told the Scottish government that she is very clear & # 39; the Health Council bosses would explain that she expected the problem to be resolved.

Independent Aberdeen Donside MSP Mark McDonald, who has a child with autism, wrote to the minister that the policy should also apply to people with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

In his letter, Mr. McDonald wrote that an estimated 84% of adults – an estimated 1,700 – in the city with ASD were not familiar with services.

He has since met with representatives from the NHS Grampian and the Aberdeen City Social Care Partnership (ACSCP) to discuss the lack of diagnostics service for diagnosing adult autism in Aberdeen.

At the moment, adults wishing to receive an autism diagnosis have to have them privately, unless they also have access to learning disabilities or mental health services.

However, a revised autism strategy has now been drawn up that mentions plans to enable adults to obtain an autism diagnosis.

Last night, Mr McDonald said he had further advised that the commitment made by NHS Grampian and the ACPCP after consultation would be to create a service that would allow any adult looking for an autism to access an assessment and, where necessary, a diagnosis.

He said: "A diagnosis in adulthood can often help people to understand the problems they encounter in their lives, whether they have to do with work, social interactions or encounters with the criminal justice system.

"It is unacceptable that an individual, in order to make a diagnosis, must present himself for mental health or learning difficulties, or that he must make a diagnosis private, at considerable cost.

"I am glad that the concerns have finally been listened to and that work will be started after the consultation period to set up a service."

A spokesperson for ACHSCP said: "Gaps in the provision of diagnosis for adults have been highlighted in the revised strategy and presented as a priority within the action plan that is now available for public consultation.

"New initiatives in the strategy and action plan reflect the fact that we have listened carefully to autistic people and their families, and to key professionals and organizations, who have all played an important role in shaping many of our proposed new approaches."

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