Monday, March 13, 2017

Bethlem clinic wins national autism award

The National Adult Outpatient Neurodevelopmental Clinic at Bethlem Royal Hospital has won the Award for Outstanding Health Services at the National Autistic Society's prestigious Autism Professionals Awards.

On receiving the award, Dene Robertson from the service said:

“The team is absolutely delighted with this award. It’s a real privilege to work with people who are so enthusiastic and excited about what they do, and I’m incredibly impressed by the skill, commitment to patients, and willingness to work across disciplinary borders that they show. 

“The team are international experts in what they do, but also friendly and accessible to patients and the people they know – and they really want this to be reflected in patients’ experiences. 

“These are tough times for health services financially, but the team has been wonderfully creative in ensuring that as many of those who can benefit, do so. We all know that this is just the start of a journey, and we will use this award to inspire us to improve our services even further. Thank you!”

The clinic was one of three finalists in the Award for Outstanding Health Services. The team was shortlisted by an independent panel of ten autism experts who judged them on their innovation, creativity, impact and sustainability.

The clinic provides diagnostic assessments for autism, ADHD and a range of other conditions and provides bespoke recommendations for post-diagnostic support.  They have a specialist team including doctors, nurses, psychologists, neurodevelopmental specialists, managers and administrators and recently received an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission.

The clinic makes sure the latest research informs their work through its strong links with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, as well as a genetics team at Guy’s Hospital. The team also provides training and advice to other services and professionals in order to make sure that autistic people are receiving the best possible care.

Speaking ahead of the awards, Dr Anastasios Galanopoulos, Consultant Psychiatrist at the National Adult Outpatient Neurodevelopmental Clinic, said: 

“Everyone at this clinic is honoured to be shortlisted in the Autism Professionals Awards 2017. 

“We pride ourselves on providing gold-standard and tailored diagnostic assessments, with bespoke support recommendations for each individual. This is the main part of our work but we also think it’s important to share our expertise by providing training and advice to other services and professionals. 

“It is wonderful that our commitment to providing the best possible care to autistic people is being recognised by a national award.”  

The annual Autism Professionals Awards, which are sponsored by Axcis Education Recruitment, were launched in 2013 to recognise and promote good autism practice and inspire others to improve their own work. There were 14 awards, covering education, health, social care, employment, community projects and volunteering.

The winners were announced at a special ceremony at the NAS' Professional conference in Harrogate. The National Adult Outpatient Neurodevelopmental Clinic is part of the King’s Health Partners Behavioural and Developmental Psychiatry Clinical Academic Group.


To find out more information about the awards please visit



For more information about the Autism Professionals Awards, please contact the press office at the National Autistic Society at


Notes to editors:


South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust provides the widest range of NHS mental health services in the UK.

We also provide substance misuse services for people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. Our services include the Maudsley Hospital and Bethlem Royal Hospital. We work closely with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London.

We are part of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre.


The National Autistic Society

  • The National Autistic Society is the UK's leading charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families. Founded in 1962, it provides information, support and pioneering services, and campaigns for a better world for people on the autism spectrum.
  • To find out more about autism or the NAS, visit
  • Follow the NAS on Twitter (@Autism) or Facebook (


What is autism?

  • Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.
  • More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum, including an estimated 700,000 people in the UK
  • Every person on the autism spectrum is different. It can present some serious challenges –but, with the right support and understanding, autistic people and their families can live full lives.
  • Although everyone is different, people on the autism spectrum may:
    • Be under or oversensitive to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours, which can make everyday life extremely difficult
    • Find social situations and change a challenge, sometimes leading to extreme levels of anxiety
    • Experience a ‘meltdown’ if overwhelmed by anxiety or sensory overload
    • Benefit from extra time to process and respond to communication.
    • Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.


The Autism Professionals Awards


Award for Outstanding Health Services

  • This award seeks to recognise and reward outstanding examples of clinical and/or medical practice by a team or organisation. 
  • Judges will be keen to see evidence of where best practice has positively impacted on patient treatment and care.
  • This category is open to entries from teams or organisations. For-profit companies and public or not-for-profit organisations are eligible.


Headline sponsor: AXCIS Education Recruitment

  • Axcis Education Recruitment is the foremost specialist supplier of quality special educational needs (SEN) staffing solutions in the UK.
  • Their commitment to working with government and professional partners plus its duty of care, ensures that, despite wide-ranging changes in education, they can have a positive effect on the lives of the young people with SEND they ultimately support.
  • They appreciate these young people are some of the most vulnerable in the education system and require inclusive nurture to allow them to achieve to the very best of their ability.


Other sponsors


Autism Accreditation

  • Established by the National Autistic Society (NAS) and its affiliated local societies, with support from the Department of Health, Autism Accreditation has been the foundation upon which much of the successful expansion of quality services for people with autism has been built.
  • Autism Accreditation works to improve the quality of provision for people with autism by:
    • providing a unified standard of excellence in both policy and practice
    • presenting a systematic framework for continuous self-examination and development
    • giving guidance and support to the services who use our programme so that they can meet the established criteria required for accredited status.
  • Autism Accreditation provides an autism-specific quality assurance programme for over 500 organisations throughout the UK and across the globe. Clients include local authorities, NHS trusts, education authorities, local autism societies and private companies.


Network Autism

  • Network Autism is a place where professionals can come together, open up new channels of information and share good practice.
  • Join Autism Network and you will be able to:
    • connect with other professionals
    • collaborate in finding new solutions o share expertise and knowledge
    • support colleagues in achieving better outcomes
  • For more information, please visit:



  • Options, part of Outcomes First Group, provides education and therapeutic care to children, young people and adults with autism, learning disabilities and social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH).
  • The group operates services nationally to approximately 700 individuals and has a broad customer base of approximately two thirds of all local authorities in England. 
  • For more information, visit:



  • For more than 38 year RIS Healthcare has been dedicated to providing a wide range of products designed to improve oral care.
  • RIS is the producer of oraNurse the UK’s only unflavoured, non-foaming, Fluoride toothpaste. The paste is designed for anyone who has intolerance to mint or issues with taste.


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