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15 March 2016

Report finds families of children with epilepsy and autism being 'failed' by NHS

A new report has found that parents of children with autism face a 'battle' to access good healthcare for their children, even in areas  such as epilepsy which is well established in the treatment of children.

The new report on health and service provision for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) said that NHS services "appear to be failing families across the board".

The report states that just 11 per cent of the 264 parents of children with autism questioned felt that NHS professionals understood their concerns about the behaviour and health of their child.

"The data indicate that services appear to be failing families across the board, even in areas that are well-established in relation to treating children, such as in cases of epilepsy and seizures," the report states.

"In relation to important everyday challenges such as toileting, sleep, behaviour, bowel complaints and diet/nutrition, the majority of respondents reported that the service did not resolve their concerns."

"This report highlights the scale of the challenges faced by children with ASD and their families," said report author Professor Jane Wills from Queen Mary University of London.

"It is frequently a battle for parents to access good quality health support for their children. There is an urgent need for new thinking and a much more holistic approach by those who are training health professionals and designing services for children and families."