Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Suffolk

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 22 May 2024.

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Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey Conservative, Suffolk Coastal

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the availability of NHS provision for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in Suffolk.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)

It is the responsibility of integrated care boards (ICBs) to make available appropriate provision to meet the health and care needs of their local population, including access to assessment and treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), in line with relevant National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance. The NICE guideline on ADHD does not recommend a maximum waiting time from referral for an assessment of ADHD to the point of assessment or diagnosis.

Whilst the Department has not made a specific assessment, Suffolk and North East Essex ICB advises that it has undertaken a review of children’s ADHD and autism services. As a result of the review, and current demand, the ICB has agreed additional funding of £3.3 million to support the services to not only reduce the time children are waiting for assessment but also increase the service provision to meet future demand. The ICB is also looking at potential new models of delivery and at the current pathways to see how it can utilise them more efficiently to ensure a smoother process for families.

In respect of adult ADHD and autism services, the ICB has worked closely with its local National Health Service provider, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, to closely monitor and respond to increases in demand. In March 2024, the ICB agreed to invest £300,000 to support those patients on the waiting list with additional advice and support.

In respect of the adequacy of ADHD service provision nationally, in December 2023, NHS England initiated a rapid piece of work to consider ADHD service provision within the NHS. The initial phase of work identified challenges, including with current service models and the ability to keep pace with demand. Following this initial review, NHS England is establishing a new ADHD taskforce alongside the government, to look at ADHD service provision and its impact on patient experience. The new taskforce will bring together expertise from across a broad range of sectors, including the NHS, education and justice, to better understand the challenges affecting people with ADHD and help provide a joined-up approach in response to concerns around rising demand.

Alongside the work of the taskforce, NHS England has announced that it will continue to work with stakeholders to develop a national ADHD data improvement plan, carry out more detailed work to understand the provider and commissioning landscape and capture examples from local health systems which are trialling innovative ways of delivering ADHD services to ensure best practice is captured and shared across the system.

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