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Your right to choose a clinically appropriate provider of neurodevelopmental services

If you are referred for an assessment for a neurodevelopmental condition you have the right to choose which service you go to.

People tell the NHS that they want to be more involved in making decisions and choosing their own healthcare. Most people say it is helpful to be able to choose where and when they access NHS services. Even if you don’t mind where you go, it is important to know that you have a choice.

We are working closely with local partners to support your right to choose from clinically appropriate services.

What do you mean by Neurodevelopmental condition?

‘Neurodiversity’ is used to describe the way our brains work and interpret information. It covers areas such as intelligence, reading ability, social skills, memory, or attention. The way our brains work is different for everyone.

Some people experience physical, sensory, intellectual, or psychological differences that can have a substantial and long-term negative effect on their ability to do normal daily activities. This may be known as a neurodevelopmental condition, such as such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

We recognise that not everyone is comfortable describing neurodevelopmental difference in this way. Calderdale supports the use of inclusive language and practices where the focus is on recognising, accepting and enabling difference.

What are Neurodevelopmental services?

Neurodevelopmental services provide information, advice and guidance for people of all ages and their families where neurodevelopmental disorders are suspected or diagnosed. Treatment (such as medication or therapy) may also be provided by these services.

Your right to choose:

If you need to be referred to a neurodevelopmental service, you have the right to choose which service you go to. You can choose to be referred to services in the local area. However, you can ask the person referring you if you want to be referred somewhere else, where it is clinically appropriate.

You can choose:

  • at the time the person referring you tells you they want to refer you for an assessment,
  • if the service you choose tells you that you will be waiting more than 18 weeks, you can ask to be referred you to another service; or
  • if you weren’t offered a choice when you were first referred. (e.g. if you were assessed and not diagnosed, you can request another referral to a service of your choice because you were not given your right to choose previously).

The person referring you will want to make sure that the service you choose is clinically appropriate and so sometimes there may be a clinical reason they think you shouldn’t go somewhere. This is because there are strict quality and patient experience standards in place to make sure you get the best possible care.

How do I know which services I can choose from?

You should always be offered a choice of clinically appropriate services available to you at the point of referral and an opportunity to discuss the options with the person referring you.

To help you make an informed decision, you and the person referring you can discuss all the information available about each appropriate service and what that means for you. 

As part of this conversation, you may want to consider the quality of the service, if this service would complement any existing health or care services you are receiving, how you would travel to the service and what other patients have said about their experience of using that service.

The person referring you will also need to check the service you are being referred to meets the required standards. The neurodevelopmental provider chosen must hold a current contract with a Clinical Commissioning Group in England for the service being referred to. They can contact Calderdale CCG for help with these checks.

Who can refer me?

Depending on your age, you can be referred to a neurodevelopmental service by your GP or a Calderdale Single Point of Access service.

  • If the referral is for someone aged 5 years and under they must be referred by their GP. In summer 2022, they will be able to be referred by their GP or the First Point of Contact (FPoC).
  • If the referral is for someone aged 6-18 years (or up to 25 years if the young person has Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – SEND) they can be referred by their GP or the First Point of Contact (FPoC) call 01422 300 001 during office hours.
  • If the referral is for someone age 18 years and above they can be referred by their GP or the Single Point of Access (SPA) call 01924 316830 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday.

More information on Patient Choice:

For more information about Patient Choice you can visit the NHS website.  

For more information about choice in mental health services you can visit NHS England website.

If you feel you have not been offered choice or do not have access to information to make a choice:

You may want to contact NHS England and NHS Improvement who can provide advice about choice issues and may be able to resolve individual concerns.

This could involve directing you to the appropriate place to make your concerns known or could involve NHS England and NHS Improvement directly engaging with relevant parties. Members of the public, patients, and their representatives should contact the Customer Contact Centre.

If you are unhappy with the decision from the CCG, NHS England and NHS Improvement, you have the right to complain to the independent Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is the final stage in the complaints system.