News & Events

Neurodevelopmental Disorders Assessment Service Launches

Building on the success and model of the Psychological Therapies Training and Research Clinic, in September 2022 we will launch an innovative new Neurodevelopmental Assessment Service for students (NDAS). Launching initially as a pilot 'proof of principle' service, it will be delivered using existing resources – lead by a specialist Consultant Clinical Psychologist from the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Dr Fiona Gullon-Scott) and supported by a specialist Consultant Psychiatrist based in Biosciences (Dr Marc Woodbury-Smith) and Clinical Psychologists in training.

The service follows NICE guidelines and uses validated and standardized assessment measures. The NDAS will allow students to access high quality diagnostic assessment and individualized reports that can be fed back to Student Health and Wellbeing. 

We recognize that there is a substantial need for this service. Student Health and Wellbeing report that in 2021 they received almost 200 enquiries from Newcastle University students seeking autism/ADHD assessment.​ PTTRC staff are reporting around 30% of their caseload are known or suspected autistic/ADHD students. ​ The Mental Health Crisis Nurse on 12 month secondment within Student Health and Wellbeing reported that more than 50% of referrals were known or suspected autistic students.

Currently, students can only be referred out to NHS or private services for diagnosis. Many students will be unable to afford private assessments, which average £1500-£2500 for adult diagnosis. NHS waiting lists for adult autism and ADHD assessments are averaging 2-4 years​, meaning the majority of students will not get a diagnosis until they have left University, limiting access to appropriate support and understanding.

The NDAS will be the first of its kind in the UK, and, like the PTTRC, aligns with and encapsulates Newcastle University’s EDI Strategy.

Last modified: Tue, 23 Aug 2022 16:06:43 BST