Update on autism services in southern Staffordshire

We understand this has been a very difficult situation for everyone involved and would particularly like to apologise for the concern and distress it has caused for patients, carers and their families.

Any period of change is naturally unsettling for those affected but we would like to reassure you that the provision of safe and effective autism services for children and young people in south Staffordshire remains our priority.

As you are aware the current contract for delivering autism services is held by Midlands Psychology and this will come to its natural end on Monday 30 September.

We are pleased to confirm that we have now secured a host provider to deliver autism services on an interim basis from Tuesday 1 October but unfortunately are not yet able to confirm the name of the provider as planned to enable them to inform their staff.

We understand this will be frustrating for people but can assure you that the CCGs, Midlands Psychology and the host provider will be working together to finalise the details of the interim service, including what the diagnostic and post diagnostic support will look like and how patients, carers and their families will access the service. We will include the details in a further update next week.

The CCGs have met with Midlands Psychology and agreed a detailed action plan to ensure as smooth a transition as possible to the interim service from 1 October.

In the meantime, if your child or young person has already started the assessment process, Midlands Psychology will complete as many assessments as they are able to until their contract ends. Any assessments that they have not been able to complete will be handed to the interim service to complete.

Any medication or prescribing queries for patients already within the service will also be dealt with by Midlands Psychology until 30 September and then handed over to the interim service as part of the transition arrangements.

If your child or young person has been newly referred into Midlands Psychology, then the assessment will be carried will be carried out by the interim service.

The host provider will deliver the interim service until the formal procurement process is completed and a new contract awarded for autism services in south Staffordshire.

The CCGs welcome Midlands Psychology engaging in the procurement process along with any other interested providers.

We have noted the recent CQC inspection report in which Midlands Psychology were rated as ‘good’.

If parents and families have any further concerns, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on the contact details below:

Freephone: 0800 030 4563 - there is also a 24-hour answer phone service.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

General Practice Extended Access Update

The six Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent will seek to commission extended access services directly from general practice on the basis that the services are list-based primary medical care that cannot be delivered by any other providers.

Formal proposals for delivery the services will be invited from general practice and it is anticipated that these will come from groups of practices working together at scale as localities or Federations although there will be no mandatory requirement for any GP to deliver the services. Proposals will then be assessed by a non-conflicted panel ahead of making any contract award decisions. The extended access contract(s) will not impact on existing GMS, PMS or APMS contracts and their requirements, currently in place.

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