Autism and ADHD Assessments Debate

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Department: Scotland Office

Autism and ADHD Assessments

Peter Bottomley Excerpts
Monday 6th February 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Westminster Hall
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Elliot Colburn Portrait Elliot Colburn (Carshalton and Wallington) (Con)
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I beg to move,

That this House has considered e-petitions 589667 and 597840, relating to assessments for autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Ms Fovargue. Let me begin by reading out the prayer of the petitions. Petition 589677 reads:

“The Government should create an emergency fund to deal with the massive waiting lists for autism & ADHD assessments for children AND adults. This would provide resources for local health services to deal with current waiting lists and new patients.”

It received over 21,000 signatures, including 29 from my Carshalton and Wallington constituency. Petition 597840 reads:

“The Government should commission a review of how Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) assessments are managed by the NHS, including through Shared Care Agreements, and increase funding to reduce waiting times.”

The petition reached over 10,500 signatures, including eight from Carshalton and Wallington. I want to put it on record that although the petitions did not reach the usual 100,000-signature threshold for a debate, the Petitions Committee felt that the issue was important. We have been busy working our way through the 100,000-signature petitions and we have managed to catch up, so we thought that this was an important topic for us to discuss.

I thank the numerous campaigners and organisations that have met me and provided me and hon. and right hon. Members from across the House with briefings in preparation for the debate. They include the petition creators, Jessica and Lisa; TV and radio host and autism activist Melanie Sykes; Christine and Henry from ADHD UK; and Sarah and Tim from the National Autistic Society. I will go into more detail later about their experiences and recommendations. I also thank the Petitions Committee team, which has, as always, worked incredibly hard behind the scenes to make the debate happen and has also conducted an incredible survey to ask the petitioners to share more about their experiences and views of autism and ADHD assessments, which received over 7,000 responses. I will share some of the findings of that survey later.

Peter Bottomley Portrait Sir Peter Bottomley (Worthing West) (Con)
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I am sorry, Ms Fovargue, that I will be unable to stay to make a speech of my own. I thank my hon. Friend and all those he is working with for helping us in Parliament to put neurodiversity on the map, because it is not unusual. It is part of what is usual.