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ADHD and autism campaigners plan legal action against NHS over referral limits

Campaigners are planning to launch legal action after NHS chiefs in North Yorkshire placed limits on which adults can get referrals for autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) assessments.

North Yorkshire and York Health and Care Partnerships introduced a pilot programme in March in which adults seeking an NHS assessment for autism or ADHD are triaged via an online screening tool.

NHS chiefs say this screening process prioritises those with the most severe needs, rather than processing referrals in chronological order.

These priority needs reportedly include the patient being at risk of immediate self-harm or harming others, at risk of being unable to have lifesaving hospital treatment or care placement, or an imminent risk of family court decisions being determined on diagnosis.

Those who do not meet the criteria are given guidance and signposted to other support networks.

But campaigners say that in practise that means that most people cannot get a referral for an assessment – GPs can no longer make referrals themselves.

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Source: The Big Issue, 19 July 2023

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