Autism (ASD) diagnosis

  • Autism assessments have recommenced

    HCT are currently offering a hybrid service of virtual and face-to-face appointments depending on the needs of your child. The majority of our ASD assessments are face-to-face with some being undertaken as virtual video-based assessments with the Multidisciplinary team. This means you and your child or young person can be seen at home via video link. A clinician will contact you in advance of an appointment to discuss the process and how the assessment will be carried out on the day. This way of working is in line with national and international expert guidance, and ensures our families and staff are kept safe. In addition, this model of working is helping the team ensure that children, young people and their families can receive support based on their individual needs. Virtual assessments have already helped us to reduce the time it is currently taking to review and assess each individual.

    When your child or young person is nearing the top of the waiting list, we would be grateful if you and/or the school setting where appropriate could complete and return all the forms which we will send. The forms will typically be sent by email.

    If your child’s needs have changed and you no longer require an assessment appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can offer the appointment to another family. You can contact the ASD Administration team by emailing hct.autism@nhs.net. If your child is under the care of the East and North Hertfordshire Paediatricians, based at Lister Hospital, QEII Hospital, Danestrete Health Centre and Hertford County Hospital, please email autism.enh-tr@nhs.net.

    Whilst you are waiting for an assessment appointment, we suggest you review the information available from the Hertfordshire County Council Local Offer. The Local Offer includes a range of materials, bookable courses and workshops which can provide invaluable guidance on supporting your child or young person, both before and after their assessment. The Local Offer website is www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/localoffer.

    There are an increased number of workshops for parents, carers and families awaiting ASD assessment. You can find the dates and details for the workshops by accessing the Local Offer website link above.

    Making a referral for ASD assessment

    Please see "Making a Referral" section below. Updated referral forms and guidance are now live.

Contact the service

You can contact the ASD administration team by emailing hct.autism@nhs.net.

  • Tel: 01923 470600 (Peace Children's Centre, Watford)
  • Tel: 01727 838995 (St Albans Health and Wellbeing Centre)
  • Tel: 01442 275683 (The Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead)

If you have a query regarding your child or young person’s autism assessment and they are under the care of the West Hertfordshire paediatricians, please email hct.autism@nhs.net.

If your child is under the care of the East and North Hertfordshire paediatricians, based at Lister Hospital, QEII Hospital, Danestrete Health Centre and Hertford County Hospital, please email autism.enh-tr@nhs.net.

Please also look under useful Information on the Community paediatrics page for further advice and support.

Professionals’ referrals to Community paediatrics are through DXS and SystmOne as usual.

Advice and guidance is available through the Electronic Referral System (ERS).

For general information about the children’s community paediatrics team please click here.

How the service is provided

Community Paediatricians work as part of a wider multi-disciplinary assessment team for Autism Assessments.

There are three children's centres in West Hertfordshire:

  • Peace Children’s Centre, Watford
  • Marlowes Health and Wellbeing Centre, Hemel Hempstead
  • St Albans Health and Wellbeing Centre

Your child will be seen at one of the above if you live in West Hertfordshire/Herts Valleys. This area includes Dacorum, Watford, Three Rivers, St Albans and Hertsmere.

Children in East and North Hertfordshire are seen at either of these locations:

  • QEII Hospital, Welwyn Garden City
  • Danestrete Health Centre

East and North Hertfordshire includes: East Herts, North Herts, Stevenage, Broxbourne, and Welwyn and Hatfield.

We may sometimes also see your child in their nursery or school. We also work closely with other professionals who support children in Hertfordshire.

Making a referral

Referrals can be made by a GP, health visitor, school nurse for children Attending schools in West Hertfordshire only, social worker in certain circumstances, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) and consultants from other specialities.

For a referral from the GP to be accepted the service requires 3 sources of information:

  1. The ASD specific referral form to be completed by the GP
  2. The parent questionnaire
  3. The school/nursery questionnaire

It is important that we have information from all 3 sources in order to determine the most appropriate from of assessment for your child.

For referrals from other professionals you may be asked to complete the parental questionnaire and your child’s school or nursery may also be contacted.

East and North Herts includes: East Herts, North Herts, Stevenage, Broxbourne, Welwyn and Hatfield
Herts Valleys includes: Dacorum, Watford, Three Rivers, St Albans, Hertsmere

Our referral referral forms and information can be found on the link above and once complete should be emailed to the following:

Herts Valleys: HCT.CYPSpecialistServices@nhs.net

East and North Herts: autism.enh-tr@nhs.net

Or by post to:
Referral Admin Hub
Peace Children’s Centre
Peace Prospect
Watford
WD17 3EW

Following receipt of the referral you may be asked to fill out various questionnaires in relation to your concerns about your child. You may be asked to provide a report from your child’s school or pre-school. This will be shared with you.

Most referrals are discussed within a multi-disciplinary professionals team meeting to determine the most appropriate services to meet your child’s needs.

Once we have the relevant information an appointment will be sent.

Patient experience

If you would like to share your story, please contact the Patient Experience team on 01707 388036 or email pals.hchs@nhs.net.

We would also love to hear about your experience on our service, please complete a survey by clicking here.