Father highlights concerns over changes to autism care provision in south west London

Dr Jason Clark, Sutton, London – has raised concerns about changes to the mental health system which provide care to Leah, 16 his autistic daughter.

Dr Clark, a university lecturer and vicar, has been in regular contact with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) since his daughter was diagnosed with autism 8 years ago.

The Kingston Guardian report that Leah has recently had input from CAMHS including therapy for depression and self harm.

Dr Clark though has voiced his concerns about changes to the system.

The article reports that:

‘He has written to David Bradley the chief executive of the South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, which runs CAMHS, in a formal complaint to express his concerns.’

His concerns include withdrawing the current ASD service and replacing experts with junior nurses. He is also concerned with the lack of consultation with parents.

Dr Clark said:

“All these families with complex issues are going to have to meet with junior nurses. I will have to take my self-harming, autistic daughter to see a junior nurse who has no idea what they are doing.

“We have been involved with CAMHS for the last 10 years. I don’t know what we would have done without them. They have been invaluable for our family.”

Mr Bradley replied and said they believed services, including those for autistic spectrum disorders, were better provided by teams of expert staff under a centralised service.

Dawn Chamberlain, Director of Operations, said that highly specialist services, such as ASD and ADHD diagnosis will continue to be provided through expert and dedicated teams in each borough including Sutton.

“South West London and St George’s is continuing to deliver the full range of CAMHS services commissioned by Sutton CCG and Sutton Council.”

The full article by Sophia Sleigh in the Kingston Guardian can be read here