There is a Perverse Incentive not to diagnose Autism and Asperger syndrome

There is a Perverse Incentive not to diagnose autism. In addition to the other reasons given by Kat Lay following the official line. NHSreality very much doubts that the savings claimed possible would be made, and the net result of efficient (over?) diagnosis would be greater than now. Prolonged rationing by undercapacity and incompetent manpower planning in paediatrics is responsible..

Kat Lay reports in The Times 29th August 2015: Families are waiting years for children’s autism diagnoses

Families are waiting more than three and half years for diagnoses of autism in children, pushing many to crisis point, experts have warned.

The National Autistic Society said that the average waiting time for autistic adults to receive a diagnosis was two years.

In a letter in The Times today, 11,627 of its supporters say: “Delays mean that autistic people are developing mental health problems, falling into anxiety and depression, and that families are breaking down under the strain of being left to look after loved ones without any support.”

Earlier diagnosis could save £67 million a year by reducing the number of GP appointments and emergency admissions and the use of mental health services, the letter goes on to say. Reasons for long waits include larger numbers of people asking for assessment, a lack of understanding of the condition among some GPs and a lack of diagnostic services and resources. ….A study of parents writing about their child’s diagnosis found that the average wait between first contacting a healthcare professional and getting a diagnosis was 3.6 years. More than half said that the process had left them dissatisfied, with 84 per cent reporting it had been stressful.

A separate study of autistic adults found that their average time between first contacting a healthcare professional and receiving a diagnosis was two years. Almost a third had been forced to seek help privately.

According to the National Audit Office, identifying and supporting adults with high-functioning autism and Asperger syndrome would save £67 million per year….

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Perverse Incentives, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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