Autistic Teenagers in Warrington Failed by the Local Council

Arpley houseFifteen autistic teenagers from Warrington, UK, have been “failed” by being denied essential services by their local government.

Watchdogs from the local government ombudsman (LGO) and the Parliamentary Helath Services ombudsman were called in 20011, acting on a letter from a worried parent which was submitted after his son was refused speech and language therapy.

The NHS trust, had withdrawn these services in 2009, due to financial constraints. The council was not aware that the services were withdrawn until 2010 when they were informed by a parent.

Speaking to the BBC LGO Dr Jane Martin said:

“I fully understand that health services and councils are under pressure as a result of the austerity measures, but that doesn’t mean children should not get services they are rightfully entitled to.”

Warrington County Council must now pay the families a compensative sum in the region of £5,000 and re-assess the children’s needs.

Steve Edwards assistant director of universal services at Warrington Borough Council told the BBC:

“It is quite clear both the council and the then primary care trust NHS partner failed those families.

“We got it wrong and we will be implementing the recommendations of the report.”