This data has been collected and presented as part of a programme of work, led by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England and NHS Improvement, to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for autistic children, young people and adults.
The data included in this report are based on the following National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance:
NICE clinical audit support tools covering adults and children – NICE Guidance on Autism spectrum disorder in adults: diagnosis and management (CG142);
NICE Guideline on Autism spectrum disorder in under 19s: recognition, referral and diagnosis (CG128);
NICE Quality Standard QS51 for autism.
NICE recommend that people who are referred to a professional or team who specialise in diagnosing autism should have an assessment started within 13 weeks of their referral. Data from the Mental Health Services Dataset (v3.0) enables us to measure whether this waiting time recommendation is being met.
MHSDS is a patient level, output based, secondary uses data set which aims to deliver robust, comprehensive, nationally consistent and comparable information for children, young people and adults who are in contact with mental health services, including autism services. People who receive autism spectrum disorder services or who are thought to have an autism spectrum disorder are within the scope of the MHSDS.
Changes in Version 3.0 of the MHSDS, introduced on 1 April 2018, include enhanced data collection in support of timely recording of diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. From 1 April 2018 providers of mental health, learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder services must start submitting data related to autism patients, as two new options are available for the primary reason for referral as follows:
25 - Suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder
26 - Diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder
These statistics are classified as ‘Experimental’ and should be used with caution. Experimental statistics are new official statistics undergoing evaluation. They are published in order to involve users and stakeholders in their development and as a means to build in quality at an early stage. More information about Experimental statistics can be found here.