Neurodevelopmental Disorder (NDD) Pathway

From 8am on Friday March 1st 2024, the referral pathway for children and young people with suspected ASD or ADHD who are registered with a GP in East and West Suffolk is changing (not including Waveney).

From this date, all referrals for children and young people should be made as follows:

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

  • For children up to the age of 11 years to be considered for an autism assessment: children should be referred via the Care Co-ordination Centre by emailing [email protected].
  • For children and young people between the ages of 11 to 18-years-old with suspected ASD:
    • For GPs, the referral form is available via their DXS system in System1.

For all other referrers, please email [email protected] or use the Local Offer website.

Referrals for ASD will then be sent for triage to the appropriate clinical teams at either the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (children up to the age of 11-years-old) or Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (for children and young people aged between 11 and 18-years -old).

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • For all children and young people under the age of 18 years with suspected ADHD:

All referrals for ADHD will go to the clinical team at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

What next?

If a decision is taken that a full assessment for ASD or ADHD is required, then staff from these respective organisations will directly contact the families/carers to arrange for the assessments. If the referral is not accepted, then families/carers and their referrers will be informed and signposted appropriately.

Existing ASD and ADHD referrals for all children and young people made prior to Friday, 1 March 2024 are still under consideration and will be responded to in due course. There is no need to re-refer any child or young person.

We appreciate that waiting times for ASD and ADHD assessments are longer than we would like them to be, and we apologise for the delays. These changes are being made as part of a broader plan to bring waiting times for assessment down and to deal with the current backlog of existing referrals.

The Suffolk Local Offer website has a list of local organisations which may be able to offer support whilst children and young people wait for assessment. You can find additional information and guidance on the referral process, as well as resources to support parents, carers, families and neurodivergent children while they wait for assessment here.

If you are concerned about a risk to the safety of a child and would like to make a safeguarding referral, then please contact Suffolk County Council’s Professional Consultation Line on 03456 061 499 to speak with a MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) social worker. To make a child safeguarding concern referral you can also fill out this form. In an emergency, please contact 999.

More information about ASD and ADHD, including how to make a referral and links to resources can be found on the Suffolk Local Offer website.