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“Adults with ADHD: ignored and undertreated” says British Medical Journal publication

The Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, an independent review of medical treatment published by the British Medical Journal, has an editorial article about how enormous numbers of adults with ADHD are overlooked by the UK medical system. They provide on the web a free extract of the opening of the article, but the last two paragraphs are of far more interest to anyone affected by ADHD, so we hope the DTB/BMJ doesn’t mind if we quote those. (It’ll get more people to buy the full copy guys!)

While the evidence for treatment of adults with ADHD is sparse,
NICE concluded that the drug methylphenidate (unlicensed in
the UK for use in adults) is the first-line therapy for those with
moderate to severe impairment.(2)  Drug therapy needs to be part of a c0mprehensive treatment programme addressing psychological, behavioural and educational needs, delivered by practitioners trained in managing patients with ADHD.(2)

So, it is clear that there needs not only to be a seamless transition
from CAMHS to adult psychiatric services, but that there is access
to appropriate adult psychiatric services for the assessment
and management of ADHD identified in adulthood. ln reality,
services for adult ADHD are extremely patchy, few areas have
properly commissioned services, and treatment is usually offered
piecemeal by individual clinicians with an interest in the disorder.
This situation is a clear example of national guidance not being
translated into routine practice. In defining the quality indicators
for the new NHS Outcomes Framework, the NHS Commissioning
Board must include provisions for adult ADHD within the new
commissioning arrangements.

Note the lines: “This situation is a clear example of national guidance not being
translated into routine practice.” and “it is clear that there needs…to be… access
to appropriate adult psychiatric services for the assessment and management of ADHD identified in adulthood“.

We’ve been saying it for years and it comes as a huge relief to be backed up by a publication with the authority of the BMJ.

Politicians, civil servants and anyone in a position of power in the health service take note: “NHS Commissioning Board must include provisions for adult ADHD within the new commissioning arrangements“.

If you have ADHD and are being ignored or fobbed off, arm yourself with the NICE guidelines (see our Know Your Rights page here). By the way SIGN, the Scottish equivalent of NICE, hasn’t yet bothered to mention include adults in its guidelines, but the Equality Act 2010 applies in Scotland and so does the NHS constitution and of course the laws of medical science are the same everywhere so we really need some activists in Scotland to put pressure on SIGN.

Thanks to the lovely people at Brighton Adult ADHD for alerting us to this article.

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