Who can refer?
Individuals who know the child or young person well are often the most appropriate referrers, as they can provide us with detailed information on the child or young person’s strengths and difficulties.
We do not take referrals directly from parents / carers, however the following professionals will be able to support you with making a referral.
The family in collaboration with educational setting staff such as teachers and SENCOs, who work closely with the child or young person, are often best placed to provide information to us for an autism assessment.
Health and social care professionals
Health and social care professionals who work closely with the child or young person, family and education setting can refer. We require the education setting to provide an Education Report form alongside your referral.
If the child or young person is not in school or is home schooled, then the GP can support a referral to the Wiltshire Autism Assessment Service. We may also liaise directly with others that know the child well in order to gather the information we require.
What information do we require?
Our Request for Support form is the primary way to refer to the majority of our services based in Wiltshire. Click HERE to download the Request for Support form. It can be filled out electronically, or printed off and filled out by hand.
For GPs using SystmOne
If you use SystmOne as your clinical system, then you should refer to us directly using our Ardens WCCS Referral form. This is by far the quickest and easiest way to access our services.
- Click the orange arrow icon under the patient’s name to open the ‘Communications – Wiltshire’ template.
- Click the ‘Paediatrics’ tab.
- Click the ‘WCCS Referral Form’ and complete form in full and save (also reference in the referral any other relevant documents saved on the patient record that we should reference as a part of the referral).
- Finally click the ‘Send Referral’ button and this will send an electronic referral as a task to the SPA.
If you send us a referral through SystmOne, you do not also need to email the SPA.
What makes a good referral?
We ask that, when filling out the form, you provide clear and concise detail in each section so that our clinical team are able to fully understand the needs of the child or young person. Where appropriate, include examples of:
- The child or young person’s strengths
- The child or young person’s difficulties
- What the child or young person and the family are hoping to achieve from the referral
- What has been tried already, and whether any previous interventions have been successful
- What you believe to be their primary area of need
If you have any queries, or are unclear regarding what information you need to provide, don’t hesitate to contact the Single Point of Access who will be happy to help.
If a child or young person attends an education setting, we require an Education Report form to be completed by the setting, which should be sent in with the Request for Support form.
Sending information securely
The safest (and fastest) way to send confidential information to us is via a secure or encrypted email route. If you have an email address that ends in the following domain, then it is safe for you to send us information by email, without encryption:
If you don’t have an email address that ends in the above, don’t worry!
Just send us an email, or give us a call, informing us that you wish to send something that includes confidential data, then we can reply using the NHS encrypted email service. You will receive an email that asks you to create an account and log in to view the email.
You can then reply, forward and add confidential attachments to correspondence which will be encrypted. For guidance on using the NHS encrypted emails service, see the Accessing encrypted emails guidance document.
An alternative way of sending confidential information to us is via post to:
Wiltshire Single Point of Access
Virgin Care Services Limited,
1st Floor, Technology House,
High Post Business Park,
Salisbury SP4 6AT
What happens next?
After the Single Point of Access receive your referral, we will check to make sure all the required information is included, and whether we are the most appropriate service to meet the needs of the child or young person. We may contact you for further information at this point, if anything needs clarifying.
If it is determined that we are not the most appropriate service for the child or young person at this time, then we will signpost you to other service providers, community or online resources that can meet their needs. We are always happy to discuss our decision, or advise and support you over the phone if you have any questions.
If it is determined that we are the most appropriate service for the child or young person, we will inform you of this decision and what clinical intervention we believe is required. We may also request more detailed information at this point.
What is the autism assessment process?
- An autism practitioner will contact the family for a telephone assessment. This will help the team to gather all the important information they need to start the assessment process. The autism practitioner will talk the family through the process and will answer any questions or concerns that they have.
- The child or young person will then be seen for a medical appointment with one of our Community Paediatricians.
- Next, the child or young person will be seen for a social communication assessment with an autism practitioner.
- An autism practitioner will share the conclusion of the assessment at a post assessment meeting, this will usually take place in the child or young person’s education setting (if currently in school). The meeting will help identify how to access the appropriate support for the child or young person.
- Following this meeting, the child or young person will be discharged from the Wiltshire Autism Assessment Service.
Throughout the assessment process, information will be gathered from people who know the child or young person well. The evidence gathered will be reviewed by the WAAS team and a decision will be agreed with the family regarding a diagnosis.