We have detected that you are using Internet Explorer to visit this website. Internet Explorer is now being phased out by Microsoft. As a result, NHS Digital no longer supports any version of Internet Explorer for our web-based products, as it involves considerable extra effort and expense, which cannot be justified from public funds. Some features on this site will not work. You should use a modern browser such as Edge, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. If you have difficulty installing or accessing a different browser, contact your IT support team.
Autism Waiting Time Statistics - Quarter 1 to quarter 4 2019-20 and Quarter 1 (April to June) 2020-21Experimental statistics
- Publication Date:
- 10 Sep 2020
- Geographic Coverage:
- Geographical Granularity:
- Country, Provider
- Date Range:
- 01 Apr 2019 to 30 Jun 2020
These statistics present two measures of waiting times for autism spectrum disorder diagnostic pathways:
• Waiting time between referral and first care contact for patients with suspected autism
• Waiting time between referral and diagnosis for patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder
Each of these measures contributes to an overall picture of waiting times for diagnostic pathways. Both approaches are outlined in the methodology section of this publication.
These are experimental statistics and are published to involve users and stakeholders in their development to build in quality and reliability at an early stage.
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, an effect is beginning to appear in the quality and coverage of some of our statistics. We are starting to see differing patterns in the submitted data. For autism waiting time statistics, in the time from referral to care contact, whilst the number of submitters remains unchanged, there is a reduction in the numbers of care contacts taking place for the most recent quarter (quarter four 2019/20) compared to preceding quarters. In the time from referral to recorded diagnosis, there is a reduction in the numbers of recorded diagnoses taking place for the most recent quarter (quarter one 2020/21). Therefore, data should be interpreted with care over the period of the pandemic. For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now undertaking some early analysis and reporting to help with monitoring of any impact using existing finalised MHSDS data as well as provisional MHSDS data.
There were 10,858 referrals for suspected autism in quarter four 2019-20 (the latest data), of which 1,297 had a first care contact recorded, of which 91% had their first care contact within 13 weeks
There were 2,379 recorded diagnoses of autism in quarter four 2019-20 (the latest data), of which 46% received a diagnosis within 13 weeks of referral