No. However, it would be beneficial to have a referral letter, if possible, to have more information about your child’s health, before the appointment. Hence, we would recommend having your GP’s letter, unless it is difficult/inconvenient to get this or if you expressly wish not to do so.
We would recommend you consider doing the following:
- Place a reminder in your planner/mobile, with the date and time of the appointment you have booked
- Plan your journey. Allow extra time for traffic and to find parking. Visit the hospital’s website for travel options and nearby parking options
- Bring all your child’s health records including any forms you have been asked to complete by the doctor
- Bring any/all medications your child is currently taking with you
Food/drink for your child, as some appointments can be long
Sri believes in having in-depth information about your child and his/her circumstances. This information will enable him to carry out a holistic assessment and recommend appropriate interventions, offer advice/support, and signpost you to the necessary resources.
Therefore, we will need completed Background Information Sheets to help us do the above. Sri thoroughly recommends you to email/post these completed forms to his secretary before the appointment, wherever possible. Sri can than peruse all this information to save you time and to help you maximise the value of the appointment with him.
Neurodevelopmental disorders, by their very nature, are likely to have an impact on the child’s behaviour and functioning, both at home (social settings) and at pre-school/school (educational settings). Having/finding all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle will help Sri develop a complete picture of your child’s needs, requirements, strengths, and abilities.
Obtaining a complete picture of your child will help him offer you a comprehensive and robust management plan with advice regarding educational, behavioural, environmental, and medical interventions, individually tailored, to build upon your child’s strengths and to address any weaknesses.
Yes. You can request a chaperone be available during your appointment when you check-in at the reception on your arrival or when you meet Sri at the start of the consultation.
Fortunately, Sri comes across something like this infrequently. In such a scenario, Sri’s advice would be to direct them to his website https://www.drsrigada.co.uk/, for them to know more about his experience and qualifications. Point to the fact that Sri has served in the NHS in the field of Neurodisability for 20+ years and he is the Editor of the book that is used by doctors in his speciality in the UK and worldwide. Sri keeps himself academically active and up to date. They can find more information about his expertise in section Medicolegal + Expertise.
The school should feel free to get your child independently assessed, should they disagree with Sri’s diagnosis. You need to be a ‘pleasantly persistent parent’ and be an advocate for your child’s needs. Handle these discussions calmly and respectfully. You should consider contacting your Parent Partnership service offered by your local LEA, to find out about your rights and the way forward. Also, request them to put what they say in writing. You also have the right to appeal against any decision you disagree.
The clinic letter you receive from Sri will be a detailed and comprehensive summary of your child’s overall strengths, weaknesses, and needs. The letter will also have a detailed management plan for a future course of action.
Sri would recommend you:
- Carry this letter with you to all NHS appointments. This will reduce duplication and will help professionals to serve you better. This would also save valuable time and resources for NHS & yourselves by reducing the duplication of history taking, tests, referrals, and could reduce your wait to access certain services.
- Share a copy of the letter with your child’s therapists, so that they know your child’s diagnosis, which will help them in planning their assessment and therapy.
- Share a copy of the letter with your child’s teacher and the school’s SENCO coordinator. This will help them to understand your child’s needs and to apply for/request additional resources from the local authority, undertake an EHCP assessment, and more, if applicable.
- Read the information about/signposting to relevant sources of information and support that are written in the letter
- Use copies of the letter as evidence and information for applications for Disability Living Allowance, housing support, respite, and other benefits and allowances.
- Review the management plan recommended by Sri once every term or every 6-12 months to check whether your child is on the expected path of progress and is improving
- Doing all the above will empower you with the necessary information and enable your child to achieve his/her potential and excel.
Cost + Funding + Payment +
Neurodisability appointments/assessments are time and resource-intensive. They are quite different from a General Paediatric assessment. The tariff for a new Neurodisability appointment with Sri in the NHS was £680+ (2.5 hr work), and for a follow-up appointment was £450+ (for 1 hour). As you will experience, Sri’s assessments are detailed, in-depth, and comprehensive. A new ND assessment with Sri, in his independent practice, takes up at least 4 hours of work, including up to a 2-hour appointment face-to-face.
Moreover, in independent practice, a significant proportion of fees is taken up by hospital clinic space fees, dictation, transcription, billing, administration, professional indemnity, training, travel, and various other practice overheads. The costs are also in line with my professional qualifications, experience, expertise, and time taken.
You can also use Sri’s clinic letter to apply to claim Disability Living Allowance and other benefits for your child, if applicable. Sri will be able to give you more information about this at your appointment on request.
Yes, if you are self-funding. As mentioned above, Neurodevelopmental and Neurodisability assessments are time and resource-intensive, with many practice overheads. Hence we do require full payment 48 hours before the appointment. Pre-payment will also help us to serve you better as it frees up our time in billing/invoicing, sending reminders, etc. Pre-payment reduces no-shows and helps us to use our resources efficiently to serve other clients and to contain our costs and, ultimately, our charges. For clients with private health insurance, we will need your policy number and the authorisation code for when you book your appointment.
Most private health insurance companies cover for Neurodevelopmental assessments and Neurodisability consultations. However, some insurance policies may have exclusions for conditions such as Autism or ADHD. So in a small proportion of cases where your child has already had a diagnosis of one of these conditions made by an expert, the policy you have signed up for may not cover your appointment, and you may have to self-pay. However, in the majority of parents who contact us; this is not the case, i.e., a diagnosis is suspected but not yet confirmed. In such cases, if you request your insurer for an assessment of your child’s difficulties, then most insurers agree to offer an assessment.
There are well over a dozen medical conditions that can present as Autism or ADHD. Unless a child undergoes a thorough assessment, one cannot be sure of a diagnosis. Therefore, please work with your insurer to bring to their attention this fact and request authorisation for a consultation/assessment to investigate your child’s difficulties and needs.
Depending on your policy, in a small proportion of cases, some insurers will require more information about what the neurodevelopmental assessment involves. If they request this information, then please direct them to Your Journey on our website https://www.drsrigada.co.uk/.
Follow-Up + Therapist +
Sri appreciates how valuable your time and resources are. Therefore, he makes all efforts to minimise the need for a follow-up appointment. Hence, he requests you to complete and send all the required forms before the date of the appointment. Doing so would ensure that the time in a face-to-face meeting is used effectively for an interview, assessment, tests, and drawing up a management plan.
In addition to the above, he has allocated longer consultation time (45 mins vs 30 mins in NHS) and far longer assessment time (2 hours in independent practice vs 60-90 mins while in NHS practice). He has taken these steps so that he can complete a comprehensive assessment of your child and explain his management plan to you in detail, further minimising the need for a follow-up.
However, in some clients, due to the complexity of the presenting conditions, a further appointment would be required to:
- Complete the assessment or
- Have a specific report from a professional/therapist or
- To score the test items completed and/or
- To have more time to answer your questions.
Moreover, the diagnoses Sri makes are life-long diagnoses. And some clients require due care and monitoring by a paediatrician either in NHS or in private.
Neurodisability conditions are complex, multi-faceted, and multi-dimensional affecting many aspects of your child’s functioning. Hence, for some children, an assessment report by professionals such as a Speech Therapist/Occupational Therapist/Physiotherapist or a Psychologist becomes essential to complete the diagnostic workup and to help recommend the required interventions to address your child’s needs adequately.
In such cases, Sri will advise you to see a relevant professional. Be confident that with Sri’s experience in his field of practice of over 20+ years, he will recommend you necessary professional when and where required and not routinely.
Treatment + Prescriptions +
Melatonin is a recommended medication by NICE & British National Formulary for Children with sleeping difficulties. Sri has prescribed Melatonin for his patients in the NHS and Private for over 13+ years. Many GPs are happy to give repeat prescriptions once a Consultant Paediatrician has assessed the child and has recommended its use. However, a child needs to be under follow up by a paediatrician while using this medication.
Melatonin is indicated to address sleeping difficulties in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Learning Disabilities, children with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, etc. according to NICE. However, like many other medications used in children, the manufacturer did not obtain a license for its use in children. Hence some GPs are reluctant to give repeat prescriptions. You can share the following link with your GP, for their information:
Sri will also be happy to complete and sign a ‘Shared Care Protocol’ if your GP requests explicitly.
Privacy + Confidentiality + Security +
Sri understands that he has a responsibility to protect and respect your privacy and look after your personal data.
For clarity, we may be both the data controller and data processor for your personal data under certain circumstances. Sri’s practice is GDPR compliant and is also registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
You have the right to make a complaint about how we process your data to the Information Commissioner: https://ico.org.uk/concerns/.
Yes. Sri’s newsletter will contain useful information such as tips, strategies, or advice on the management of conditions such as ASD, ADHD etc. His prospective clients will automatically receive a copy of the newsletter electronically. You can see a sample of the articles and videos he has produced and shared on this website. They will have the option to unsubscribe from this anytime and through any of his newsletters.
However, you do not have to be his client to receive this. Please complete the minimum required details such as your name, surname, occupation, and your email ID on our website to receive this newsletter. These details will not be shared with any third parties.
Your feedback +
Any feedback you give will be welcomed and would be much appreciated. Your feedback will help us improve the services we offer. You can email your suggestions to Sri’s secretary or write to him personally at any of the hospitals he works at or request a call from Sri.
Your feedback on your experience of using our service is particularly important to us. Sri believes in having your feedback, helps him to plan the services he and his team provide. Your feedback would help us change, improve, or modify our services wherever required. Sri believes in continuous learning. Moreover, he uses your reviews to carry out an annual audit of the services he provides. Furthermore, your feedback would be a service to other patients.
In addition to the above, feedbacks are essential for health professionals. Therefore, Sri has made it easy for you to leave your review by registering himself with independent and 3rd party organisations, and by providing you with the direct weblinks to help you offer your feedback.
Sri would be incredibly grateful if you could leave your feedback on any of the below links:
Many thanks for your time and effort in leaving feedback 😊.