This website places cookies on your device to help us improve our service to you. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies statement.

Skip to page content

About us

Community Child Health Lothian

SAS Project supported: Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) course

Dr Rosemary Jones, Associate Specialist
Dr Fiona Sandeman, Specialty Doctor
Dr Jennifer Glen, Associate Specialist
Dr Liza Neville, Specialty Doctor

The four of us work within the Community Paediatric service in NHS Lothian, spread across different locations (St John’s Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC) Edinburgh and Midlothian). We provide on-going management of children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ensuring the provision of appropriate support to these children and their families. We had been carrying out a large number of preliminary assessments and organising appropriate investigations for our patients, who then had to be referred for third tier definitive diagnosis.  This can be a lengthy and frustrating process for patients and their families.

Due to a number of factors, including a significant increase in autism referrals, resource issues as well as a need to streamline and improve existing service provision - and working with Dr Edward Doyle, Associate Medical Director - we approached the SAS Development Fund to request access to appropriate training.

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) training course, run by experienced tutors, used a highly specialised assessment tool to increase our current levels of knowledge, skills and experience.

Now, as a result of attending ADOS training funded by the SAS Development Project, we will be able to:

  • Provide locality assessment of complex cases at an improved level than before using SIGN guidelines.
  • Work collaboratively with Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) teams to co-assess cases.  The significance of this is that we no longer always need to refer patients on for definitive diagnosis.
  • Train and assess medical and Allied Health Professions (AHP) colleagues who contribute to the autism service, adding to the overall quality of patient care.
  • Help to reshape autism assessment and diagnosis service provision.
  • Provide additional clinical procedures.

All of the above changes and actions are improving patient care, reducing diagnosis time and waiting time/referrals.

If you would like to know more about the SAS Development Project, please refer to the webpage