Autism evidence scan identifies knowledge gaps
Evidence reviews
March 2022

Diagnosing autism takes account of a person’s differences in social interaction and communication, sensory sensitivity, interests and behaviours. Yet autism varies hugely from person to person, both in how it looks and how it is experienced. This is because the term autism covers a broad range of different conditions, rather than a single category or condition.

Evaluation of Building the Right Support: Final Reports
Inequalities
November 2021

Building the Right Support was a national plan to provide better support to people with a learning disability or autism.

It said which services and supports are needed to help people whose behaviour challenges services or who have mental health problems.

This was because too many people were living in hospitals and assessment and treatment centres. Many had been living in such places for a very long time. Often they were a long way from their home, family and friends.

Estimating the impact of the proposed reforms to the Mental Health Act on the workload of psychiatrists
Mental health
October 2021

In January 2021, the Government published a White Paper, setting out its plans to reform the Mental Health Act. The Government invited views on the paper and in July 2021, it published a summary of the consultation responses and its plans to address the issues raised.

‘To risk stratify or not risk stratify, that is the question’ (At least, it should be)
Better use of analysis
October 2021

Risk stratification tools are ubiquitous in healthcare. The concept is simple and seductive. By predicting the risk of future adverse events, we should be able to target efforts to avoid/mitigate them. Doing so would save both money and misery.  

But, as Niels Bohr said wryly, “Prediction isn’t easy, especially about the future”. And the challenges of prediction increase as the thing we are trying to predict gets less specific (e.g. the risk of emergency admission in general). The challenges associated with risk stratification are nearly as great as its promises.  

Inequities in children and young people’s mental health services
Mental health
July 2021

Good mental health during early years and childhood has a great bearing on health throughout life. By contrast, poor mental health can cast a long shadow. Consequences may include depression, self-harm, and poor physical health.

Services recognise this. They aim to provide access to support in a timely and suitable way. A national target has been set, namely that 35% of children and young people with diagnosable needs should be able to access the necessary services.

Measuring the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on population health
Inequalities
July 2021

Measuring the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on population health

One feature of the pandemic has been the fast-flowing stream of facts and numbers about the impact of Covid-19. At the same time, we’ve had to absorb the meaning of terms that were previously the preserve of epidemiologists and public health professionals.