Autism Diagnostic Service (LADS)

LADs is a multidisciplinary team, of mental health and learning disability professionals with specialist knowledge of autism. The team provides assessment and diagnosis of people of all intellectual abilities, who may have autism.

Meet our Autism Diagnostic Service (LADS) team
Name: Dr Conor Davidson | Role: Clinical Lead, Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Conor Davidson is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead of the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service. He was appointed Autism Champion for the Royal College of Psychiatrists in May 2021. Before joining Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service fulltime in 2020, Conor was Autism Lead for Tees, Esk & Wear Valley NHS Trust (TEWV). The TEWV Autism Project launched a large-scale training program and the Autism Clinical Link Pathway; its achievements were recognised with a National Autistic Society award in 2019. Conor has published several journal articles and book chapters on autism and mental health. Conor is a lifelong Leeds United supporter, which – after many years of disappointment – is finally starting to pay off.

Name: Dr Keri Lodge | Role: Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr. Keri Lodge is a Consultant Psychiatrist In Learning Disability Psychiatry with the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service. Before becoming a doctor, she worked as a community support worker for adults with a learning disability and autistic adults and as a learning support assistant to college students with additional educational needs. Keri is passionate about the health inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities and autistic people and has published several articles about this. She has also published several book chapters on autism and on learning disability. Her research interests to date include identifying autism in people who are deaf, blind or deafblind. Outside of work, she is a sibling carer.

Name: Dr Jane Dixon | Role: Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Jane Dixon is a consultant psychiatrist in general adult psychiatry and has been working in this capacity in several different roles in Leeds since 2001. She works one day a week for the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service and has done this since 2021. Jane’s main role is at Aspire, the early intervention in psychosis service in Leeds. In addition, Jane also works as a medical member of the Tribunal Service, sitting on disability benefits appeals. Jane is keen to develop mental health services awareness of autism and is an autism champion for Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. As well as her professional interest in autism, she has a daughter who is autistic and is passionate about increasing autism awareness.

Name: Dr Alwyn Kam | Role: Specialty Doctor 

Dr Alwyn Kam is a Specialty Doctor Psychiatrist. He graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Biochemistry. He continued his education by studying medicine and, after qualifying, spent two years working as a doctor in Australia. He works with the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service for two and a half days a week and with the Leeds Learning Disability Service for two and a half days. He has maintained a keen interest in autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions. He has co-authored several published papers and is a contributing author to a book on autism.

Name: Hayley Greenwood | Role: Clinical Team Manager

Hayley is the Clinical Team Manager for the Neurodevelopmental Service, which includes the Adult ADHD Service and the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service. Hayley qualified as a Learning Disability Nurse at Huddersfield University in 2016. Hayley also completed a Master’s degree in Adult Autism at the University of Birmingham in 2020. Hayley has worked in many different services across Leeds and York Partnership Trust, including CMHT, CLDT and CYPMHS inpatient services. Hayley uses her clinical and managerial experience to support the team so they can deliver a clinical service with high standards of safety and clinical excellence.

Name: Laura Drage | Role: Clinical Psychologist

Laura is a clinical psychologist in the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service. She qualified as a clinical psychologist in 2015 and since then has worked in various secondary mental health teams in West Yorkshire, including conducting autism diagnostic assessments inside and outside the NHS. She has maintained her pre-qualification interest and experience in psychosis alongside neurodevelopmental conditions. Her role involves conducting diagnostic assessments and supporting Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) professionals with autism awareness training and consultation. She is keen to support a personalised formulation approach to the diagnostic process and future care for people with an autism diagnosis.

Name: Vicky Straker | Role: Autism Nurse

Victoria is a specialist autism Nurse who has worked with the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service for over six years. Victoria qualified as a Registered Nurse for Learning Disabilities 19 years ago and has worked in Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) in various positions. Victoria is very passionate about providing service users with high quality care & takes a keen interest in ensuring the pathway remains efficient & a fulfilling experience for service users. Victoria is also our Triangle of Care Lead and recognises the importance of involving and supporting carers and ensuring their needs are heard and understood. She is also part of the team providing autism awareness training to other professionals, carers and students within LYPFT.

Name: Amber Hinchcliffe | Role: Autism Nurse

Amber is a Learning Disability Nurse who qualified from the University of York in 2017 after a 2 year placement with the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service as part of her nursing studies. Amber then spent 5 years working as a primary care prison nurse, working with young offenders, focusing on health promotion and ensuring access to health services. Some time has also been spent working for a national private company developing packages of care for those with Learning Disabilities and Autism and delivering specialised training. She has recently completed a Master’s degree in Public Health, Health Promotion and then joined the team in early 2023 as an Autism Nurse.

Name: Joanne Field | Role: Autism Advanced Practitioner

Joanne is an Occupational Therapist by profession, qualifying in 2004. She has previous experience working with adults with ADHD, autism, and mental health. As well as working in the Neurodevelopmental Service, she has experience working in various mental health settings, including community mental health teams and acute mental health services. Jo has experience in providing advice about reasonable adjustments in the workplace and educational settings, and this is a strong area of interest for her. Jo has previously worked at Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service in a previous role, but in 2022, started a new role working with colleagues to develop training and consultation about Autism for other professionals in our Trust to help autistic adults have better care in mental health services. She is also involved in the assessment pathway.

Name: Elizabeth de Mello | Role: Occupational Therapist 

On qualifying with an MSc in Occupational Therapy in 2014, Liz specialised in pre-vocational training/rehabilitation before joining the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service team in November 2018. She brings 16 years of experience from her previous career as a vocational guidance counsellor for young people with social, emotional, and mental health difficulties in a range of educational and secure settings. She aims to enable and empower people to overcome the challenges they face, to gain more control over their lives and participate fully in society.

Name: Hayley Rosenthall | Role: Speech and Language Therapist

Hayley is a Speech and Language Therapist who has just started working with the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Team. She qualified in 2006 and has since worked with autistic children and adults and those with learning disabilities and other complex needs in a range of settings. This has included clinics, schools, residential services and inpatient settings. Hayley specialises in assessment and intervention of speech, language and communication skills for those with neurodevelopmental conditions. Hayley is passionate about the need to train others to have an awareness of autism so that the environment can be adapted and that autistic communication and sensory needs can be better understood by all.

Name: Dan Swift | Role: Training Support Officer

Dan is the newly appointed Training Support Officer with the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service. He will be focusing on arranging autism awareness training for all clinicians at the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and gathering feedback on their experiences of the training.

He is motivated by making processes simpler and introducing positive change that improves the experiences of service users and colleagues.

His passions outside of work include spending time with his daughters outdoors and Leeds United.

Name: Aziz Aldaughaither | Role: Assistant Psychologist

Aziz Aldaughaither is an Assistant Psychologist in the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service. He completed a master’s in health psychology from the University of Bath which involved a placement with the Autism Intensive Service in Bristol aimed at providing intensive support for autistic children who are struggling with their mental health. Aziz also works as a support worker with adults with learning disabilities.

He is interested in research and has previously conducted quantitative and qualitative research into various topics, such as the impact of self-esteem on behaviour, public attitudes towards teenagers and the effectiveness of programs aimed at reducing school exclusion for neurodivergent children. Outside his role, Aziz enjoys playing boardgames/video games and running.

Name: Emma Jackson | Role: Neurodevelopment Service Team Co-ordinator

Emma has over 10 years of experience working in the NHS and, before this, had an extensive background working in the private sector. Emma has a passion and drive to provide NHS services with a high calibre and professional administrative management support. Emma started working for Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service in 2017 as the Team Coordinator. Emma’s main responsibility in the service is to ensure healthcare professionals are supported adequately to perform their roles.

Name: Laura Sutcliffe | Role: Service Support Secretary

Laura is a Service Support Secretary responsible for administration tasks for the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service.

Name: Tracey Hemingway | Role: Service Support Secretary

My name is Tracey Hemingway, and I work as a Support Secretary for the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service. My role is to take all the secretarial and administrative work away from the Clinicians, enabling them to give all their time to the Service Users’ assessments and needs. I have worked in an NHS setting for many years and previously worked for a Barnardo’s service, helping Young People in care.

I believe everyone should be able to have a real chance in their lives.  The Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service helps Autistic people achieve this and aids others to understand Autism.

Name: Simone Sissoco | Role: Service Support Secretary

Simone is a Service Support Secretary responsible for administration tasks for the Leeds Autism Diagnostic Service.

Name: Jamie Scott  Role: Service Manager

Jamie is the Service Manager for the Neurodevelopment Service (ADHD and LADS) and the Personality Disorder Services at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. He is a registered Social Worker and has worked in Criminal Justice/NHS services since qualifying in 2000. Jamie has worked in a variety of clinical and management roles within LYPFT since 2005, joining the neurodevelopmental services in July 2023.


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