If you have been referred by your GP for assessment for ASD, and your referral has been accepted by Psychiatry-UK, a member of our admin team will contact you using the telephone number or email address provided by your GP, to help you get registered.
As we are an online company, once you are registered, we will communicate with you via our secure online portal, so you will need to have access to the internet. If you have any problems accessing the portal, please contact our 24/7 support centre.
Once registered, you will need to log into our portal, which uses two-factor authentication, so you will need to have a smartphone or tablet that can receive text codes or use an authenticator app. This is to ensure that any information you give us will be kept as securely as possible.
On your portal dashboard you will see links to some pre-assessment forms, which you need to complete and return within six weeks of registering with us.
These forms are an important part of your assessment, so please let us know if you need help to complete them. As soon as we receive your completed forms, we will book your ASD assessment with our next available consultant psychiatrist.
Your psychiatrist will review your forms before they meet you, so it’s important to give as much information as possible. At the start of your appointment, they will also ask you to show photo ID, so please make sure that you have this with you.
Your assessment appointment will take place via video call, so you can attend from the comfort of your own home. You will be sent a link before your assessment. This will only work a few minutes before your assessment, so please don’t worry if the link doesn’t work if you try it out in advance.
Your appointment will usually last 50-60 minutes, and you can attend alone, or ask a friend or family member to attend with you if you find this easier.
As part of your assessment, you will be asked for details about your past. For some people, past history can be upsetting to talk about. If there is anything your consultant asks that you are not comfortable answering, please say so. Your consultant will not force you to answer or reveal anything you are not comfortable with.
Similarly, please inform your consultant if there is anything that you would prefer not to be included in your report.
However, please be aware that if there’s anything you disclosed to the consultant during the assessment which raises issues about safety to yourself or other people, the consultant has a responsibility to share this information with other professionals/agencies that can support you and manage the risk.
What happens next?
Your consultant may be able to make a decision about your diagnosis at the end of your assessment. However, they may need some additional time to reflect, discuss the case with colleagues, or ask for further information. If more information is needed, a further meeting may be arranged with either yourself, an informant or both.
In some complex cases, a formal ASD diagnostic tool might be recommended to help confirm your diagnosis. Find out more about diagnostic tools.
After your assessment, your consultant will write a letter to your GP, as any other doctor would do. If there is any information you do not want your psychiatrist to include in this letter, please tell them, and it can be omitted in most cases. You will have access to a copy of this letter on your portal.
Treatment of ASD
The treatment for ASD is aimed at helping you to reduce the challenges of your condition. There are a number of therapies that can help with specific needs:
- Relationship therapy
- Family therapy
- Employment advice
- Occupational therapy
- Life skill training
- Reducing sensory sensitivities
- Work adjustments
- Psychotherapy targeting common disorders associated with ASD, such as anxiety and depression can be helpful.
Medication may also be prescribed to treat associated conditions, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Depression, Anxiety etc.
Self-help books, websites and online ASD forums can also be helpful. The following websites provide some useful resources:
Right to Choose
Treatment under the Right to Choose (RTC) scheme is funded by your Integrated Care Board (ICB). Please read the following conditions carefully:
- If you miss two appointments, or do not complete and return your pre-assessment forms within six weeks, we will be required to discharge you from our care. To resume treatment, your GP will need to make a new referral.
- If you are unhappy with the outcome of your assessment, we are unfortunately unable to provide a second opinion appointment under RTC. However, this may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- We are only able to offer assessment (not treatment) for ASD under RTC. Any other assessments or treatments would need to be discussed with your GP and local services.
Due to the number of patients under our care, we cannot always respond to patient requests immediately. We aim to respond to patient notes on the portal within 2-3 days. Sometimes, however, we may need to pass your note to a member of another team, in which case our response might take slightly longer.
- If your request is time-sensitive, please call us so we can pass on the message or respond to your request as quickly as possible.
- Please note that we are not an emergency service and cannot offer emergency medical services for urgent or crisis situations, or for patients who are acutely ill. If you need urgent assistance, please follow our advice here.
Informing the DVLA
If you receive a diagnosis of ASD, the DVLA advises that you only need to inform them if you feel that your ASD impacts your ability to drive safely. If you are not sure if this is the case, please discuss it with your psychiatrist. It is also advisable to inform your insurance company – this is unlikely to affect your premium.