Data has revealed that some children have been waiting more than three years for an autism or ADHD diagnosis with NHS Ayrshire & Arran.

A Freedom of Information Request was submitted to the health board, with figures being shown up until July 10, 2023.

Data found that, as of July 2023, there had been 788 boys and girls under 18 waiting for an autism diagnosis and 706 boys and girls under 18 waiting for an ADHD diagnosis.

It also found that the longest time that had been recorded on the waiting lists for an under-18 female was 1,202 and 1,174 for an under-18 male.

Both of these times are equivalent to more than three years.

Ayr Advertiser:

Furthermore, the average waiting time on the waiting lists for under 18s was 1,001 days for a female and 957 days for a male.

Information also found that, dating back to 2018/19, a total of 2,021 referrals had been made for diagnosis and 502 assessments had been carried out.

In response to these figures, Caroline Cameron, director of North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: "NHS Ayrshire & Arran currently have no additional funding for National Neuro Specification.

"System partners are working to identify resources for alternative support models which is challenging alongside the many other competing demands for our health and care system."

Ayrshire and Arran's Service Referral Pathways and Developments Update from July added that the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) services in Ayr & Arran, have continued to accept and place on the waiting list referrals for children and young people’s neurodevelopmental assessment and diagnosis for those young people who do not meet the CAMHS service criteria.

It added that: "A neurodevelopmental CAMHS service has been developed specifically for those children and young people whose neurodevelopmental disorder co-exists with a clearly defined and treatable mental illness.

"In response to this, we are transforming the way in which we deliver services to all Ayrshire residents living.

"The current system of assessing and supporting those with a neurodevelopmental difference is no longer sustainable and needs to change."

It added: "Full implementation of the CAMHS National Specification will take place from Tuesday, August 1, 2023.

"From this date, in line with Scottish Government recommendations, CAMHS will only accept referrals for neurodevelopmental assessments for those children and young people who meet the CAMHS criteria of having a co-occurring mental health need.

"For those children and young people referred who do not meet the service criteria, a letter will be issued to both the referrer and patient (individual or family member) advising that they do not meet the criteria and signposting them to alternative supports.

"Plans are developing at pace to establish a robust, specialist neurodevelopmental support service to fully meet the needs of children, young people and their families, with anticipation of service launch early in 2024."

The Scottish Government has also been approached for comment.