Children with suspected ADHD and autism are waiting as long as seven years for treatment on the NHS, as the health service struggles to manage a surge in demand during a crisis in child mental health.
Experts said “inhumane” waits are putting a generation of neurodiverse children at risk of mental illness as they are “pushed to the back of a very long queue” for children and adolescent mental health services (Camhs).
UK children with suspected neurodevelopmental conditions faced an average waiting time of one year and four months for an initial screening in 2022, more than three times longer than the average wait for all Camhs services, according to research carried out by the House magazine and shared with the Guardian.
Half of all trusts responding to a freedom of information request had an average wait of at least a year, and at one-sixth of trusts it was more than two years. The NICE guidance for autism and mental health services stipulates that no one should wait longer than 13 weeks between being referred and first being seen.
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Source: The Guardian, 17 July 2023
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