Local diagnosticians

0-5 years Early Years SEND Pathway 

The early years pathway has been refreshed, in order to provide greater clarity and consistency, EY providers and professionals, as to how young children up to the age of 5 with additional needs and SEND are identified early, supported and funded across the different levels of need.  Please follow the link below for more guidance:


For Children with a GP in Western Cheshire CCG

Referral and consent forms for children:


If the child is under statutory school age and lives in the area covered by WESTERN CHESHIRE CCG they can be referred into the Child Development Service by anyone including parents.

If parents wish a referral to the school aged pathway under WESTERN CHESHIRE CCG they need to speak to a professional who is represented at the meetings, ie:

  • Paediatrician, possible via GP
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Social Worker
  • Child & Educational Psychologist
  • CAMHS worker

All of these groups can refer a child onto the pathway and in doing so become the Lead Professional who gains parental consent and then updates parents on progress through.

For Adults with a GP in East Cheshire, South Cheshire, Vale Royal, West Cheshire and Wirral

The Complex Recovery Assessment and Consultation Team CRAC ASD adult diagnostic service.

The service is commissioned for those aged 16 and over in Vale Royal, South and West Cheshire and from 18 and above in East Cheshire and Vale Royal. There is no upper age limit.

The service can be referred into by any GP or mental health team working in those CCGs.

The new system is as follows:

  1. All referrals for a diagnostic assessment of adults without Learning Disability for Autism Spectrum Disorder from the 5 CCGs now come to this service. GPs will refer in via the local single point of access for CWP MH adult services who will pass directly on to us.
  2. The referral criteria are-

a. No previous diagnosis of Autism

b. Doesn’t have Learning Disability meeting Learning Disability service access threshold

c. Has an AQ 10 score of 6 or above

d. There is reason for believing that the traits started in childhood

  1.  The process is that a referral letter from GP (or from a CWP MH team if already in a CWP service) plus a copy of the AQ 10 scoring 6 or above will trigger entry to the service
  2. Once they are received the person will be sent a pre-assessment questionnaire to complete
  3. Once this is received back they will be allocated an appointment slot
  4. We will be offering clinics in Stein Centre Birkenhead, Upton Lea Chester, Winsford, Crewe and Macclesfield. The assumption will be that  the person will go to the one most local to them but if they wish to attend another one for any reason we will aim to accommodate such requests
  5. Each CCG has stipulated a maximum number of referrals that can be assessed per year so the waiting times vary and the waiting lists are separate for each CCG but for each CCG cases will be sent questionnaires in strict order of receipt of referral as that is contract stipulation. Any referrals in any financial year in excess of those funded by the CCG will not be processed until the next financial year in line with CCG requirements and GPs will be notified of this.
  6. The assessment which takes place is multidisciplinary (Psychiatrist and OT) and we ask everyone to bring an informant with them if possible. We notify the GP of attendance (or DNA if don’t attend) and if any urgent issues or recommendations. We send the draft report out to the person for them (and the informant or anyone else they choose to share it with) so they can see if it is a reasonable summary or if any corrections/clarifications or additions are required. This is then discussed at the post diagnostic review at which the report and opinion are finalised, they can ask any questions about the report and the findings, conclusions and implications for helping the person manage their future. We will give them information and tailor advice, signposting and any recommendations to them as individuals.
  7. Once this is done we send a discharge letter to GP (and referrer if not from GP surgery) summarising final diagnosis, opinion and any recommendations plus a copy of the full final report for information
  8. As the service is only commissioned as a diagnostic service there is no further follow up and the person is discharged.

In addition to the above the service can (and does) accept referrals from other CCGs as long as there is a letter confirming funding is agreed. The service can also accept referrals that are funded in other ways e.g.  by insurance companies, occupational health services, legal funding or self-funding.

The service can (and by specific bespoke commissioning request does) provide post diagnostic services including second opinions, reviews and interventions from any CCG or alternative funding as above as long as any such request has funding confirmed.

The service has now seen roughly 500 adults for assessment since it first started in late 2012 so the team is very experienced with the ways Autistic traits can present in different people at different stages of their lives.

For more information please call  01244 397640.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Adult Service | CWP

The autism Spectrum disorder (ASD) Diagnostic Service is a local diagnostic and assessment service for adults who are believed to need an assessment for autism.  The service provides a full diagnostic assessment service of adults with autism.  People are assessed by a specialist psychiatrist and a specialist occupation therapist.

The service has been purchased by the 5 CCG’s (clinical commissioning groups) covering Cheshire and Wirral.  The service is open to referrals nationwide and can also accept referrals for assessment, review or expert opinion such as self funded cases or cases funded by any CCG, other health providers or other organisations e.g. occupational health or insurance, by individual agreement.  The service can also provide specialist intervention work either privately or on a bespoke basis funded by CCG’s or other organisations.  The service leads Ian and Clair are both NICE champions for autism, and Ian is the autism champion for England.


Axia ASD Ltd – adult diagnostic provider within NHS Eastern Cheshire, South Cheshire and Vale Royal for individuals aged 16 and above.

Axia ASD Ltd are delighted to have signed a two year contract to be a diagnostic provider within NHS Eastern Cheshire, South Cheshire and Vale Royal for individuals aged 16 and above.  Further information is provided below regarding the services Axia ASD Ltd can provide:

Re:  Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnostic pathway

As part of the new contract the Individual Funding Request process is no longer required for individuals being referred to Axia ASD Ltd for specialist neurodevelopmental assessment and one individual post-diagnostic support session.  In addition, any healthcare professional can refer into our service without the need of having to request the GP to facilitate the referral, for example, we now accept referrals directly from 16-19 Service, Community Mental Health Teams, Early Intervention Service, etc.


Recent winner of the award for Outstanding Health Services at the Autism Professional Awards Ceremony in March 2018.

Director of the National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism Carol Povey said: “Huge congratulations to the team at Axia ASD Ltd.

“They should be very proud for standing out among so many high quality nominations and impressing the judges with their vital diagnostic service.

People on the Autism spectrum struggle with executive functioning so may find decision making difficult.  The first point to consider is our waiting time which is in line with NICE Guidelines and is currently at 13 weeks.  This is from receipt of referral to receiving a diagnosis.

We would then suggest that you look at our website www.axia-asd.co.uk, in particular, to help with predictability you will note our Meet the Team page which includes the faces of all diagnosticians, a virtual tour of the building including the rooms they will be seen in.

In terms of the quality of service we offer, we alert you to our Facebook reviews and testimonials on our website.  You will also be aware that we collect outcome measures from referrers and quality indicator analyses to ensure the best possible of service is continually received.



A follow-up appointment is offered where we can gauge how the individual is adjusting to the diagnosis and provide an opportunity for the individual and their family to ask any questions.

We also offer a number of ways to connect post-diagnostically.  We run a regular post-diagnostic support group which is facilitated by myself and is free of charge for anyone who has been diagnosed by Axia ASD Ltd.  Again, on our website are the minutes of the various post-diagnostic support groups where you will  note we have invited speakers such as Sarah Hendrickx, Dr Luke Beardon, Dr Sudharsan, Dr Barbara Green and Dr Peter Mason.

We also try to engage in innovative ways post-diagnostically through our Film Society, Vlogs, podcasts, Facebook and Twitter, also free of charge.


We should like to explain why we only have the one base in Chester and do not offer local clinics.  The rooms we have are for our sole use and therefore we are in total control of them and maintain them to a very high standard.  We also have the capacity to change the room to meet people’s sensory sensitivities.  We are also able to draw on all of Axia ASD Ltd’s resources based within Chester:

  • Clinical headed up by Dr Linda Buchan and the following disciplines are available:

Ø   Clinical Psychology

Ø   Speech and Language Therapy

Ø   Nursing

Ø   Systemic Psychotherapy

Ø   Support Staff

  • Operationally, our staff headed up by Carly Bailey can offer the following to people when they are in Chester:

Ø    Advice regarding Personal Independence Payment

Ø    Autism friendly airports

Ø    How to apply for funding, for example, speech and language therapy assessments and therapy through the IFR process.

Ø    Autism Alert Cards

Ø    Provide Flyers

Ø    Provide details of local charities and support services

Ø    Loan books and DVDs

For further information regarding the services Axia ASD Ltd can provide please contact Carly Bailey, Operational Manager, on 01244 56 76 56.