Concern at takeover of Wiltshire’s autism service

Members of NHS Wiltshire have expressed concern at allowing Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership  to provide an autism diagnosis service.
NHS Wiltshire went through a rigorous process to identify qualifed providers to supply the service in the county.
Two organisations met the criteria, AWP and Autism Diagnostic Research Centre while a third, Social Enterprise Quality of Life, conditionally qualified.
NHS Wiltshire has previously expressed concern about services run by AWP and as a result is drawing up plans to retender the mental health service contract in Wiltshire.
At a board meeting last week the board was asked to agree that AWP be one of the providers of an autism diagnosis service.
Non-executive director John Holden said: “This is a G4S moment. Why would we want to give them any business at all based on past performance? I just wouldn’t go there.”
Non-executive directors Peter Lucas and Davis Stevens also expressed concern.
But Christina Button, director of commissioning development, said: “There is not a connection between the main contract we hold with AWP and this service. There was a rigorous selection process and AWP met it.”
Director of nursing Mary Monnington said autism diagnosis was a specialist service and said NHS Wiltshire could safely allocate it to AWP.
Non-exective director Lis Woods said NHS Wiltshire would be liable to legal action by AWP if if did not include them as a provider as it had met the criteria.
The board agreed to allow AWP and the other organisations to provide the service.

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