Children waiting years for autism and ADHD appointments in Humber

Children with referrals for autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are having to wait more than a year for a first appointment at a mental health trust in Yorkshire, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, based in Hull, has an average wait time of 615 days for a first appointment among the 903 children and adolescents with an autism referral – around a one and three-quarter years.

The longest current wait time is 1,378 days – nearly four years. The Trust estimates that a new referral would have to wait 819 days for a first appointment – around two and a quarter years.

Meanwhile, 186 children and young people with ADHD referrals at the Trust are currently waiting 543 days on average for their first appointment, amounting to around 18 months. The longest current wait is 1,089 days – around three years – with an estimated wait for new referrals of 411 days.

boy holding block toy

Last week it was revealed that children are having to wait years for a first appointment for autism or ADHD at some NHS trusts, with one case in Coventry and Warwickshire waiting nearly five years.

NHS child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) have been in a long-running crisis, with demand outstripping funding and resources, and needs growing during the pandemic.

A spokesperson for Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘Demand for autism spectrum and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnosis for children and young people has historically been high in the Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire system, and it has increased further during the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Children remain on the waiting list until the diagnostic pathway is complete, however, many of them are already in contact with our services and receiving support. Trajectories are in place to reduce the waiting list and times are reducing.

‘A new Children’s Neurodiversity Service was launched in March 2022 in recognition of the increased demand. System partners have worked collaboratively to develop and introduce this new model focused on early intervention and support.’

Photo by Caleb Woods


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