Much is said about extraordinary waiting times within NHS ADHD services, especially Adult services. It is easy to criticise, but it is worth revisiting history for a moment. If we go back a decade or slightly more, wrongly, ADHD was believed by international experts and policymakers to be a disorder of children, with most growing out of ADHD, and not displaying impairing symptoms past their late teenage years. We know now, in fact, a lot of practitioners knew then that this was incorrect. A lot of adolescents and adults were suffering impaired lives, with hardship a constant reminder that their ADHD was still present.
Undoubtedly this mistaken belief led to NHS services not considering the requirement to build adult ADHD NHS service expertise, and only recently has the need been recognised. NHS budgets have not been augmented to accommodate this ‘new reality‘.
We can also look into pharmaceutical products, our ADHD medicines and only in relatively recent times have medicines such as Elvanse, Atomoxetine and a few others been licensed for adults. In fact, some of the most effective medication for ADHD is still not licensed in the UK for patients over 16.
We also should look at paediatric and CAMHS services for a final clue as to why we have waiting lists that are far from ideal. Firstly, the split of services between two profoundly different disciplines in medicine prevents accurate forecasting of future demand. Secondly, demand predictions from services for children, rarely have the time, or the opportunity to ‘put their foot on the ball’ and accurately predict the anticipated flow from 16yr olds in adulthood, thus informing future commissioning decisions.
Without a thesis on the subject, we can already see that there are a number of causation factors for adult ADHD services experiencing sub-optimal service levels.
At ADHD 360 we are proud to assist ADHD NHS services by stepping into that gap and delivering excellence in a timely, affordable manner.