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AADD-UK’s response to Cambridgeshire’s denial of NHS treatment for adults newly diagnosed with ADHD

Three actions by NHS Trusts and Commissioning Groups in Cambridgeshire are restricting access to NICE recommended treatments for people who are diagnosed as adults with ADHD.

First, the long-standing & pioneering adult ADHD clinic at Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge has been forced to close due to lack of NHS funding. Secondly, NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Public Health Network recently implemented a “low priority policy” for prescribing Methylphenidate, Atomoxetine, and Dexamfetamine for adults that were not diagnosed by the NHS as children or adolescents. And thirdly, in July 2011 the Cambridgeshire Joint Prescribing Group designated these 3 medications (as prescribed for adults who were not diagnosed as children by the NHS) as Double Red. The Double Red classification means that they will not fund the prescribing of these 3 medications for adults who were not diagnosed as children or adolescents by the NHS.

AADD-UK has completed a scrutiny of the briefing paper in which the new “low priority policy” was proposed and have now written to Sir Neil McKay of NHS Midlands and East (and 8 others) requesting that the decision to implement the new policy be reviewed, and also that we be provided with written answers to our questions. With the letter we have enclosed copies of the briefing paper, the new policy, as well as a patient information leaflet which purports to explain the new policy. We have inserted our comments, recommendations, and questions into these documents. You can view the letter and documents at the following links:

1. AADD-UK letter to NHS Midlands and East

2. Briefing Paper for proposal for a low priority policy

3. Low Priority Policy

4. Patient Information Leaflet

Recommendations for people living in Cambridgeshire

For those of you who have been affected by this situation, we strongly urge you to file complaints with the Patient Advice and Liaison Service at the following:

1. NHS Cambridge: Freephone: 0800 279 2535 or 01223 725 588 or by email c-pct.pals@nhs.net or write to them at Patient Advice and Liaison Service, Lockton House, Clarendon Road, Cambridge CB2 8FH

2. NHS Peterborough: Tel: 01733 776283 or by email PALSTeam@peterboroughpct.nhs.uk, or in writing to PALS, City Care Centre, Thorpe Road, Peterborough PE3 6DB.

Also, if any of you would like to help the local ADHD support group fight this, please contact Rebecca Champ. You will find her email address and phone number on her website: ADDventure Within.

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