ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment

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

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

I will be happy to look into that in response to the hon. Gentleman’s question. The Government are trying to encourage as many people into work as possible, and we want to get an additional 1 million people with disabilities into work. Employers should treat people sensitively, and people with ADHD can be valuable members of the workforce. I will be happy to have a conversation with my colleagues in the DWP to encourage that. Those people have a skill set that can be extremely productive for enlightened employers who are prepared to make concessions and work with them effectively.

I acknowledge that data is an issue. Without robust and comparable data about waiting times, we do not have the tools with which to challenge local areas, but hon. Members can raise anecdotal evidence in advance of our being able to put together a suitable dataset. I have asked my officials to explore with NHS Digital what data can be made accessible via the mental health dataset. We also need to work alongside the Department for Education, because people with ADHD start manifesting issues in school.

A number of hon. Members said that it is important for employers to improve outcomes for people with ADHD. Unless we get people with ADHD into meaningful employment, there is a risk that they will fall into the criminal justice system, quite unnecessarily. Work is not just about earning a living; it contributes to people’s psychological wellbeing and gives them a sense of belonging, purpose, confidence and self-esteem. As I have said many, many times before, work is good for people’s health, so we need to ensure that nobody is excluded.

People with ADHD can be well skilled, highly qualified and employable individuals, with exceptional and unique talents, who can bring real benefits to businesses. I am more than happy to bang the drum to encourage more employers to be sensitive to people with ADHD, as they should for people with autism, who also have big skill sets that they can offer to employers.

I do not have much time left. I thank hon. Members for their contributions. This group of people has been poorly served for a very long time. I therefore welcome the establishment of the all-party group and I look forward to having ongoing dialogue with all its members. I hope that, before long, we can achieve some material differences and improved outcomes for all those people.

Question put and agreed to.