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Neurodevelopmental services

Private neurodevelopmental assessments

Before getting a private assessment, instead of an NHS neurodevelopmental service assessment, you should consider the important points below.

If your report is not from an assessment with the NHS neurodevelopmental service:

  • A multi-disciplinary quality assurance (QA) process will be needed
  • Any report must meet the clinical standards set out by both:
    • The National Institute for Health and Care Clinical Excellence (NICE)
    • NHS England

If the QA process identifies problems with an assessment or diagnosis, we might not include it in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Please also view the 'Reviewing the evidence' section on the Education, health and care (EHC) needs assessment requests page.

What to expect from a private service

You should check that the person completing the assessment is qualified to complete a specialist neurodevelopmental assessment and give a diagnosis. They could be:

  • A child psychiatrist or consultant paediatrician registered with the General Medical Council (GMC)
  • A specialist nurse registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • A psychologist, occupational therapist, or speech and language therapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) provides guidance on neurodevelopmental assessments and diagnosis:

You should ask the private service if the assessment, diagnosis and assessment report will meet the NICE standards. This means the assessment will involve:

  • Your child being at the centre of the assessment and having their voice heard
  • Reviewing information from more than one setting (usually home and school)
  • A clinical observation
  • The use of questionnaires or specialist standardised assessments

Your local NHS neurodevelopmental service team can tell you what they would expect to see in a private assessment report. They cannot give you advice on which private service to use.

Transferring from a private service to an NHS neurodevelopmental service

Your child can get treatment from the NHS after having a private neurodevelopmental assessment and diagnosis. You will need to ask your GP to make a referral to your local NHS neurodevelopmental service.


There can be differences between what private services prescribe and what NHS services prescribe. It may not be possible for your child to continue with the same medication or dose when they transfer to an NHS service.