Views Sought On Autism And Mental Health Services For Children And Young People


The Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and Public Health Agency (PHA) want to hear about your experiences to help shape how care is delivered in Northern Ireland.

10,000 Voices is a PHA initiative which gives people an opportunity to provide feedback on their experiences of accessing Health and Social Care services by asking for members of the public to ‘tell us their story’.

dn_screenThere are a number of charities, groups, bodies, schools and families across County Down that have in recent years experienced issues with funding, policy and service delivery etc and will no doubt contribute to this consultation process.

This issue will be a matter of concern for many families in Down as on the Nolan show today a health representative could not explain when put under the cosh by Nolan why the estimated 1500 backlog of cases awaiting assessment were not being transferred between Trust areas to address the need. Some children referred for diagnosis have to wait around over 12 months for an appointment. This contracts sharply with the Trust policies across Northern Ireland eg many patients from the Belfast Hospital Trust in East Belfast use the South Eastern HSC Trust facilities at the Ulster Hospital, especially in the A&E. And this area too has serious implications for the education requirements of those pending diagnosis for autism-related disabilities.

Mary Hinds, Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professions at the PHA, said: “10,000 Voices aims to involve the public in shaping future healthcare services across Northern Ireland. The initiative acknowledges that patient and client contribution is fundamental to ensuring that services are commissioned to deliver better outcomes for patients, their families and carers.

“We want people to tell us about their experiences of health and social care and to highlight the things that were important to them. The information we receive will help us to direct how health and social care is shaped and delivered in Northern Ireland.”

10,000 Voices would like to hear your story if you or someone you care for has had experience with the following services in the past twelve months:

dn_screen* Autism (children and young people up to age 18)
* Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

* You can tell your story by completing a survey at:

or you can complete it by downloading the app:

Go to the App Store and download SenseMaker
Enter the Activity Code: 10KVoicesAutismandCAMHS
(Paper versions of the survey are also available on request.)

Tony Rodgers, Assistant Director of Social Care and Children with the Health and Social Care Board, said: “This project creates a very important opportunity for children, young people and their families to share their experiences of CAMHS and paediatric autism services. By capturing their stories, we will have a very rich source of meaningful information from across the region giving an accurate picture of what works well, but also where changes and improvements may be needed. The results of the survey will provide a very solid basis for influencing the shape and development of these services both in the short and longer term.”