• Jeremy Hunt’s promise came in response to North Durham MP Kevan Jones’ call to reduce current two year wait.

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has vowed to look into waiting times for autism diagnosis in County Durham, labelling the current two year wait as “unacceptable.”

Anxious parents in the county are facing a wait of up to two years to get an autism diagnosis for their children because of a staff shortages.

Speaking in the Commons during Health Questions, Kevan Jones said:

“One of the staffing shortages is actually in children and young people’s services. In County Durham in my constituency, the waiting time for autism diagnosis is two years […] What can the Secretary of State do to ensure that the extra money that he has pledged to put into the service actually gets to the service?”

In answer to the North Durham MP, the Health Secretary said:

“It is unacceptable for someone to be waiting that long, and I do not want to stand here and defend it. […] The money is starting to get through to the frontline. It is not just money, though; it is also capacity, and having trained mental health therapists—nurses; psychiatrists—and that is why we are boosting their training, too.”

Mr Jones has written to the Health Secretary following their exchange, asking for further information about the money and capacity pledged for frontline services.