UK Adult ADHD Specialists

A. For Adult ADHD specialists, please see the interactive map of UK Adult ADHD Services on the website for the UK Adult ADHD Network (UKAAN).

Advice for People Seeking Assessments

Please read the following 12 important points: 

1.ADHD is difficult to diagnose so only experienced mental health professionals who have been trained to recognise ADHD can accurately assess and diagnose ADHD.

2. Important Note: If you wish to transfer into NHS ADHD care after your privately provided assessment & diagnosis, you need to be aware that your diagnostic report must contain sufficient information to back up your diagnosis.

If it does not, you may find yourself being placed on a waiting list for a more thorough assessment. We suggest you discuss this with providers before making any decisions. You can show them the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guideline for ADHD Diagnosis and Management.

3. We recommend you read providers’ Terms & Conditions before making any decisions. Their terms and conditions should include information about any limitations on their obligations to you & to their provision of services, in addition to your responsibilities to them, their usage of your data including your personal health information, any waivers of your rights, payment details, disclaimers, as well as their complaints policy (this is not an exhaustive list).

4. You will usually be asked to complete at least two questionnaires before the assessment & you may also be given questionnaires for a family member or partner to complete. These questionnaires are designed to help consultants review important information about you before you meet.

5. Assessments usually take from two to four hours or sometimes longer depending upon need.  You may also need additional appointments and/or you may need to see other professionals before a diagnosis can be made.

6. During the first part of the assessment you may be asked to take a Qb Test (a computerised test which takes 15-20 minutes).  See Qbtech

7. The assessment should include the following (see section 1.3 in NICE ADHD Guidance NG87):

  • your full psychiatric & developmental history;
  • your symptoms as experienced previously, currently and in different environments such as school and work (school reports & work evaluations, if available, are helpful); and
  • you may also be asked to complete tests to assess focus, hyperactivity & impulsiveness.

8. The assessment, however, should not be based solely upon the results of the various tests and observable behavioural symptoms.  It should also include time spent talking with the consultant who will ask questions, listen carefully, and who will develop an understanding of both your internal and external experiences.  For an accurate diagnosis, your assessment needs to be thorough (please see our “Questions to ask Consultants” below).

9. Once the assessment has been completed, your consultant should write a comprehensive report for your GP which needs to include the rationale for a diagnosis (if one is made) as well as any treatment recommendations. The consultant may also give you written information about ADHD including contact details for any local support groups that may exist in your area.

10. If medication is recommended and you choose that option, the consultant should send you back to your GP so that you can have your blood pressure, pulse, cardiovascular functioning as well as any other tests deemed necessary, checked before medication is started.

11. If you choose to take medication, your consultant should also provide a titration period of about 3 months or so before you are discharged back to your GP.  This simply means that the consultant will start you off on a low dosage and then work with you to find the right dosage that will control your symptoms with the fewest side effects.

12. Some consultants/services may also provide psychoeducational courses as well as help with specific problems or goals.  If they are unable to do the latter themselves, they should be able to refer you to another appropriate professional.

19 Questions to ask consultants & yourself

1.What is your experience with Adult ADHD?

2. How many patients a year do you see with ADHD?

3. Are you a specialist in ADHD?

4. Have you attended ADHD training courses?

5. How long will the assessment take?

6. Will you provide a comprehensive assessment report including the your rationale for a diagnosis (if one is made)?

7. How much do you charge?

8. What is included in the price? (e.g. assessment, report, treatment plan)

9. What is not included in the price? (e.g. any follow-up appointments)

10. If you make a diagnosis and treatment recommendations will you also provide follow-up appointments?

11. How much will each follow-up appointments cost & how many will be needed?

12. Do you work collaboratively with other services as needed (e.g. GP’s, substance abuse services, sleep disorders, etc.)

13. What other help can you either provide or refer me to? (e.g. cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), anger management counselling, relationship counselling, coaching, etc.)

14. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the doctor as well as other staff members.

15. Do you feel you are being treated with respect?

16. Are the staff welcoming, helpful and willing to answer questions?

17. Do you feel you can trust both the doctor and the staff?

18. Have you been given a thorough explanation of the assessment process?

19. Are you given informational pamphlets/leaflets to read later?

Here again is the link to the interactive map of UK ADHD Services on the UK Adult ADHD Network (UKAAN) website.

If you have any questions or just want to talk, please join us on our forum here.

Help & Support   Psychologists/Counsellors    Occupational Therapists     Coaches   Support Groups (Full List)     Home

Review date: 17/08/2020

Next review due: 18/08/2021


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