ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:33 pm on 15th May 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 4:33 pm, 15th May 2018

I congratulate Jo Platt not just on the passionate and articulate way in which she has introduced this important subject, but also on setting up the all-party parliamentary group. I am delighted to accept her invitation to come to a meeting and to hear some of the stories. I would also, through her, extend my congratulations to Michelle Beckett for her work in raising awareness.

The hon. Lady has highlighted that this group of people face quite intense, if unconscious, discrimination, because the way that our education system is set up does not really address their needs. That is something we should all wish to tackle. There are similarities with the way that autism and conditions such as dyslexia were treated in the past. If the abilities to learn are not there, people can fall out of the system. The truth is that they have a very different skill set and we should all be endeavouring to draw that out and, at the very least, not make them feel marginalised or discriminated against. As we have heard from other hon. Members, it is that sort of discrimination that leads them to fall out of the mainstream and perhaps fall into the criminal justice system, which is something that could easily be avoided if we were all more sensitive to it.

The hon. Lady mentioned data. I will take that away and look at it. It is fair to say that it is only very recently that the NHS has started to collect data regarding autism, for exactly the reasons highlighted today—the postcode lottery in terms of how different areas treat the condition. Quite often, it depends on having somebody in the area who gives a damn to give some leadership on the issue. Clearly, that is not good enough, as it will fail far too many people. I will go away and look at that. We have just introduced a new dataset for autism and I do not see any reason why we cannot extrapolate that methodology to look at ADHD. There is no doubt that we will continue our dialogue on these issues.