National Guidance

From 1st August 2020, NHS England reduced the level of their response to COVID-19 from a National Level 4 Emergency Response to Level 3 Regional response, with public health now being monitored at local and regional levels.

The restoration of community health services was initiated throughout England in June (Phase 2 of recovery) and the NHS are now moving into Phase 3 of their response and are to focus on returning to near normal non-COVID health services.


What does this mean for my child in Essex?

We have worked on a collective response from the various NHS providers throughout Essex to outline the current position.  The official statement can be found here.

However, we realise that this statement may not contain the more specific information that families will be searching for at this time, and some of this information can be found below.

What we know, so far…..

West Essex 

Services have managed to maintain close to business as usual throughout the pandemic but moved to a virtual format.


Castlepoint & Rochford

New and existing referrals to the Lighthouse Centre are being assessed and first priority focus will be on under 5’s.

Mid & South Essex 

Services expect to restart on 1st September 2020 – some appointments will be conducted virtually, some within a clinic setting


North East Essex

Services were restarted on 1st August 2020 – some appointments being conducted virtually, some within a clinic setting.

Autism Assessments

It is not currently possible for Paediatricians, therapists and/or other clinicians  to carry out the standard observation that forms part of an autism diagnosis assessment.   This is because it is not appropriate to  conduct the assessment whilst wearing a face mask or via virtual appointment (video call) as it stops natural social interaction taking place.  (Yes, we know that is a contradiction!) 

A leading team of scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles have developed a condensed version, called BOSA,  of the standard ADOS-2 assessment used by clinicians worldwide to identify children with Autistic Spectrum conditions.

We understand that health providers in Essex will be adopting this form of assessment at the present time.

The BOSA assessment still needs to be conducted within a clinical environment but the clinician or therapist assessing your child will observe from another room and will coach the parent or carer through the activities that form the observation part of the assessment.

You can watch this video which explains the BOSA assessment in more detail.