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UK adult autism assessments - help with your legal right to choose, reducing wait times, and avoiding private fees


Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
If you're thinking of getting an adult autism assessment in the UK (NHS or private) and you're worried about long NHS wait times and/or high fees for private assessments, you will probably be able to significantly reduce the wait time and get the NHS to pay for your private assessment by using your legal right to choose.

For example, if you're on an NHS waiting list and you are considering going private in order to avoid the long wait time, you can use Right To Choose instead and the NHS will pay for your assessment to be done by a private company.

If you need help understanding what Right to Choose is and how to use it to get your adult autism assessment done, please reply and I'll see if I can help.

Here's a brief overview:

Anyone*, anywhere in the UK, who has a GP or other medical professional that has agreed an autism assessment is appropriate, can insist on their assessment being done by any NHS service provider that is offering that service, anywhere in the country. And in the case of adult autism assessments the NHS has commissioned a bunch of private companies to do assessments. So you can get an NHS assessment, performed by a private company, paid for by the NHS, and the wait times are a few weeks or months.

Most of those assessments are done remotely, so they require a fair amount of form filling and then a video session or two. So this might not be appropriate for someone if they really want a face-to-face assessment. But otherwise it works really well.

I've encountered so many people who did not know that right-to-choose exists, and didn't have that option explained to them by their GP when the referral was made. So many just get told, you're on the list and the wait time is 2 years (or whatever). But the GP is supposed to explain other assessment options including right-to-choose. I really don't know why they don't do this.

Read more here:

And here's a link to a popular company offering NHS adult ASD assessments (I'm not recommending them, just offering them as an example of what I'm referring to, others are available). Their current wait time (as of April 2023) is about 18 weeks. If your GP has already made a referral you can still insist that they switch it over to a company like this instead.

Right To Choose ASD – Psychiatry-UK

Also, I know from my own experience, that the diagnosis provided using this route is classed as an NHS assessment even though it's performed by a private company. So it shouldn't prevent you obtaining post-diagnostic services from the NHS. If you go to a private company directly, without an NHS referral, and pay for your diagnosis, you may find that you also have to get an NHS assessment in order to access post-diagnostic services. So right to choose also helps in this regard.

* There are a few exceptions such as people serving in the military, but in general this information applies to anyone entitled to NHS medical care in the UK.

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