Improved service for children and young people with autism announced

A new contract that will provide improved services for children and young people with autism in South Staffordshire is announced today.

The new service will be provided by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) and mobilisation of the new contract will commence from 1 May 2020.

The new service will be provided with a 30 per cent increase in investment from NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGS) covering Stafford and Surrounds, East Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, and South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula.

The procurement process has been carried out in conjunction with the National Autistic Society and with the involvement of service users, their families, carers, and local clinicians.

Marcus Warnes, Accountable Officer for the CCGs said: “MPFT have been providing an interim service since October 2019, but we want to emphasise this is not a continuation of that interim service but an entirely new service.

“We want to thank everyone for their extensive feedback, which we have used to shape the new service, and we are confident it will deliver the services, outcomes and improved experiences young people and their families and carers in South Staffordshire expect and deserve.

“Investment will provide greater opportunities to integrate with other services such as learning disabilities and mental health services and the opportunity for additional staff recruitment.”

The new service has been extended to cover 0-19-year olds and will also cover intervention for young people up to the age of 25 with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). Each child or young person will have a designated key worker to oversee and coordinate their care and support their requirements.

Claire Bailey, Managing Director of Children and Families services at MPFT said: “We thank the CCGs for this opportunity to deliver a new autism service in South Staffordshire that will support a more extensive number of children, young people and their families. It will also enable greater integration with existing children’s services such as therapies, mental health and learning disabilities services to enhance the support available for children and young people.

“We are keen to build on the relationships we have formed since taking over the provision of autism services on an interim basis in October 2019 and, as we prepare to launch this new service, remain absolutely committed to continuing to provide high quality care.”

MPFT continue to work with commissioners on addressing the current diagnosis backlog.