How to request an autism and/or ADHD assessment

For information about autism and ADHD assessments visit glosfamilies directory 

For a child or young person who is registered with a GP practice in Gloucestershire referrals for autism assessments for children aged 0-18 years and ADHD assessments for children aged 11-18 years are made through Gloucestershire’s Social Communication and Autism Assessment Service (SCAAS) and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Neurodiversity Team.

SCAAS and CAMHS Neurodiversity Team can accept referrals from any health or education professional who knows the child well, however they are unable to accept referrals from parents, carers or self-referrals. 

Referrals for ADHD Assessments for children aged 6-11 years old should be made to the Community Paediatricians within Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. These referrals will need to be made via the child’s GP with supporting information. 

Parents or carers with concerns about their child should speak to their education setting to discuss support needs and if a referral is appropriate.  

Right to Choose Assessments

If your child is being referred for an Autism or ADHD assessment, you have the legal right to choose the specialist NHS service provider they are seen by. This provides some information on the options available, to help you to make informed choices that best suit your circumstances. The options are:


  • Referral to the local NHS Gloucestershire Autism assessment service which offers assessment only
  • Referral to an NHS Right to Choose Autism assessment service provider that offers assessment only.


  • Referral to the local NHS Gloucestershire ADHD service which offers assessment and ongoing care if you are prescribed medication.
  • Referral to an NHS Right to Choose ADHD service provider that offers assessment only.

Only a GP can refer you to a Right to Choose provider but referrals into the Gloucestershire NHS autism and ADHD assessment service can come from any professional who knows your child well, this is often professionals within their education setting.

Following your child or young person’s assessment if your child receives an ADHD diagnosis and requires medication the specialist service might seek a “shared care arrangement” with your GP.  A shared care arrangement means that clinical responsibility for the child or young person’s care is shared between the GP and the hospital or specialist service (such as the NHS Gloucestershire ADHD service). It is recommended that you talk with your GP before making your choice as their agreement for a shared care arrangement will depend on who completed the assessment. There are currently no children’s NHS Right to Choose providers who offer on going care and therefore referrals made are for assessment only. This means if your child or young person requires medication following an NHS Right to Choose assessment, the GP will be unable to agree to a shared care arrangement.

If you have accessed a right to choose ADHD assessment and would like the NHS Gloucestershire service to consider prescribing medication, you will have to wait to reach the top of their waiting list before being offered this. Your child / young person’s referral date to the NHS Gloucestershire service will be considered as the date your GP referred you to the right to choose provider.

Referral to the local NHS Gloucestershire Autism and/or ADHD service

There is a local NHS pathway for Autism and ADHD services for children and young people. These services offer a face-to-face assessment in local clinics. For children and young people diagnosed with ADHD who require medication follow-up care will be provided.

Your GP will usually have confidence in agreeing a shared care arrangement with the NHS Gloucestershire ADHD service to provide consistent ongoing care of a high standard.

Demand for local NHS Autism and ADHD services is increasing, and this is affecting the waiting times people experience between being referred to the service and being assessed. NHS Gloucestershire is striving to respond to this demand and maximise the use of its resources to provide high quality, equitable NHS services for people in Gloucestershire.

Referral to an NHS Right to Choose Autism and/or ADHD service provider outside Gloucestershire that offers assessment only

There is a range of NHS Right to Choose Autism and ADHD assessment providers outside Gloucestershire that offer assessments only. Face-to-face appointments may take place in clinics outside of the county. Some of these service providers may offer online assessments. Some of these providers may have shorter waiting times for assessment than the local service.

If a child or young person requires ADHD medication following their assessment, the GP will need to refer them to the NHS Gloucestershire ADHD service provider for ongoing care. This would involve going on to the NHS waiting list. Children and young people who have a completed assessment will not be prioritised ahead of children waiting for an initial assessment but will be seen in order of the date of the original GP referral for assessment.  This means there would be a delay between getting the diagnosis and starting NHS treatment.

If you have chosen to pay for an ADHD assessment from a private healthcare service

Some private healthcare services offer ADHD assessment for a fee, or via private healthcare insurance. Gloucestershire GPs may not be familiar with the details of the private healthcare ADHD services they offer and may be unwilling to enter into a shared care agreement. Any ADHD care and treatment recommended by the private provider that you wish to take will need to be paid for privately by you, this would include entering into an on-going shared care arrangement with the GP for medication.

Patients who have paid for a private ADHD assessment but want to access NHS treatment will need to be referred by their GP to the NHS Gloucestershire ADHD service for review before NHS treatment can be offered. The NHS Gloucestershire ADHD Service may choose to undertake a further assessment if they feel this is required. Children and young people who have a completed assessment will not be prioritised ahead of children waiting for an initial assessment.

The NHS assessment service does not offer on-going care for children diagnosed with autism or with ADHD if medication is not required.

Page last reviewed: 18 April 2024