Proposed Restructuring of Wandsworth’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Advisory Services

Closed 28 Apr 2019

Opened 8 Mar 2019



The Council would like to hear your views on our proposed changes to create an enhanced single Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Advisory Service. 

These proposals have been drawn up in response to our previous consultation in January 2018, where we asked families for their experiences of the ASD Assessment process and the services and support they had accessed.  

We received 96 responses to our consultation and further explored parental views through two focus groups. In addition, we consulted with a wide range of professionals involved in the assessment pathway to gather their views on the process. From this consultation we learned that families wanted:

  • More support in the home in managing the needs of a child with ASD  
  • A single point of support at times of need/crisis
  • More parent training courses delivered at times they can attend
  • Improved availability of therapies (eg speech and language, occupational therapy) where these are needed

The priorities for professionals were:

  • A process for improving the quality of initial referrals
  • Clearer criteria for progressing a child onto a specialist assessment
  • A process for involving a wider group of professionals in the decision to progress a child onto specialist assessment

We used the feedback from this consultation, and have been working with our partners within the Council and across Health and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), to formulate proposals for change that best meet the needs of families.

The proposals are intended to achieve the following key objectives:

  • To keep an overview of all children with ASD and to track their progress and review their outcomes
  • To ensure there is effective joint working of professionals and discussion about which children progress for a specialist assessment
  • To enable effective multi-professional planning and delivery of services for children and families throughout the entire process, minimising transition between teams
  • To ensure appropriate training and support is provided to parents/carers after a diagnosis of ASD
  • To ensure there is support available to children and their families, including unplanned support when families might consider there is greatest need
  • To provide parents with a single point of access, particularly at times of need/crisis
  • To enable the service to provide a timely response when issues are escalating

We have considered a range of options to meet these objectives, including keeping things how they are now and making some small changes to the referral process. However, we have concluded that it is not going to be possible to meet all the objectives without redesigning the service. In order to create a multi-professional team, provide a year-round service and home-based support to families, we believe that a redesign of the service is required.

We have drawn up a set of broad proposals and these were presented, along with a request to consult, to Council members at the February Education and Children’s Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee and to Full Council. The decision to carry out a public consultation was approved and you can read the committee paper here. (Please note that recommendation 3b on page 2 was withdrawn prior to the council meeting)



The proposed changes to the service are listed below. The consultation document at the bottom of this page details the reasons we are proposing each change, and the pros and cons of each. The equality impact and needs analysis (EINA) gives more detail about the potential impact of the proposals. Please read these before answering the survey, so that you have all the available information before giving us your views.

Proposal 1: An initial whole family assessment should take place to identify any additional needs

Proposal 2: A period of support should take place in the local community before a child’s case moves to a specialist team

Proposal 3: We should provide training so that everyone working with young people in the local community has a good knowledge of ASD

Proposal 4: A range of professionals should decide whether a child goes forward for an ASD assessment

Proposal 5: The number of professionals carrying out the ASD assessment should depend on the complexity of the child’s needs

Proposal 6: The team should be a single service covering ages 0-19

Proposal 7: The service should operate year-round (not term time only)

Proposal 8: The service should include family support

Proposal 9: The service should include a range of professionals

As we develop our proposals we would like your feedback on each of the proposed changes to our services. At present these are broad proposals and we will be using the feedback from this consultation and from our ongoing discussion with our partners across the different services, including the future providers of the service, to formulate our final plans.

Within the proposals we have costed an indicative staffing structure to determine if a multi-agency team is viable using the existing budget. The final detail of this team will be agreed in discussion with the future providers of the service and in response to the feedback we receive. Any future service will look to maintain and build on the existing good links with the Consultant Paediatrician, specialist speech and language service and CAMHs.

 We will be taking our finalised proposals for change to the June 2019 Education and Children’s Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee for approval.

Have your say

Please read the consultation document and give us your views using the online survey below.

The consultation document (including the questionnaire) is available in Somali, Urdu, Arabic, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish at the bottom of this page. If you would like this in a different language or with larger text, please contact us at or leave your details on our automated telephone line 020 8871 6242.

We will be holding several drop-in sessions for parents and professionals to answer any questions they may have about the proposals. Details of these sessions will be kept up to date on this page and circulated through all available networks.

Any general questions that arise at the drop-in sessions will be added to the Frequently Asked Questions section below, which will be updated weekly.



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