Who we are:

The Neurodevelopmental (ND) assessment pathway is currently the referral pathway into Specialist Health Services for children and young people with suspected Autism (ASD) and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). The Specialist Health services include: Paediatricians, Clinical Psychology, Speech and Language Therapy, Specialist ND Nurses and CAMHS, which are provided by three different NHS Trusts Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust (DCHFT), University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB) and Derbyshire Community Health Services Foundation Trust (DCHSFT).


Throughout the pandemic the three providers have continued to see families who were waiting for an ND assessment on the existing waiting list. 

We agreed to reopen the ND assessment pathway for South Derbyshire and Derby City from the 4 January 2021. If you received a letter between March 2020 and December 2020 stating the ND pathway was closed, your child is not currently on a waiting list. Please update your referral and resend to the SPOA email. It is important the information in the referral is updated as children’s presentation changes, as they get older.

  • All referrals are to be sent electronically containing the referral and questionnaires (parental/carer and nursery/school information plus Vanderbilt if indicated). If parts are missing the referral will be rejected and it will be the responsibility of the referrer to collect the missing information and resend in the referral.
  • The referral form will be changed to include a section on what the desired outcome of the assessment would be.  

Due to the limited clinical time available these measures will enable us to maximise the resource we have to benefit the children and families waiting for an assessment and support the schools and families along the way. 

What you can expect:

Following receipt of the referral and the appropriate questionnaires, they will be reviewed by our Multidisciplinary team who will be able to forward the referral to the most appropriate service or follow up with a telephone call to the referrer.

On acceptance of the referral you will receive a letter from the team who will be completing the assessment.

There is likely to be a waiting time, during which we would strongly advise accessing other support services if you need them – find out more on the Derby and Derbyshire emotional health and wellbeing website.

At the assessment you will be asked some questions about your child in their early years and the family. This may be completed online / via video or telephone. Depending on the information provided you may be asked to complete further assessments to help establish a full understanding of your child’s needs.

Once we have the necessary information depending on the child’s needs the initial service you see may be able to provide you with information to indicate if they met the criteria of diagnosis. However sometimes we will need to meet with other members of the Multidisciplinary ND team to discuss and analyse the assessment findings to help agree the outcome, prior to feeding back to the family.

Following the assessment, individual support is not provided unless your child has a health need, such as medication or particular type of therapy e.g. Speech and Language or Mental Health provided therapies However there is a range of services which can be accessed online or via school pre and post assessment. These can be found on the SEND Local offer for your area.

Useful contacts:

Derby City Council Local Offer 

Derbyshire County Council Local Offer 

If a parent / carer / professional is concerned you should seek advice from your child’s education provider. If you child is not in education you can contact your GP or the health visiting service (if your child is under five):

Health visiting service for Derby city

Health visiting service for Derbyshire

Neurodevelopmental pathway

The Neurodevelopmental Pathway is a specialist service responsible for the assessment of neurodevelopmental conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Referrals for an ADHD assessment will be considered from the age of five and a half years.

Please click on one of the links below to find out more about the support available to children and young people living in Derby and South Derbyshire who need an assessment for a neurodevelopmental condition. 

Due to the re-opening of the ND pathway and the high volume of referrals we are receiving, the current wait time from receipt of referral to triage is a approximately four weeks.  In addition we would like to advise you that our admin team are currently running behind with sending out triage outcome correspondence. The team are working hard to resolve this.
Please ensure that all relevant questionnaires are submitted with your referral, as failure to do so will delay your referral further. If you have any queries please either call 01332 623726 option 3 and leave a voicemail or alternatively email dhcft.ndpathway@nhs.net and we will contact you as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.