The NHS Long Term Plan commits to improving children and young people’s mental health services, including reducing waiting times for specialist services and supporting children, young people and their families through the diagnostic process.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder that includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness and affects around 5% of school-aged children worldwide. ADHD can have a large impact on personal, academic, family and social interaction. In the UK children can wait on average 18 months from their first appointment to receiving a formal ADHD diagnosis and the annual cost of ADHD assessments to the NHS is estimated at around £23m.
As a Network, from 2020 – 2022, we are working to deliver a new national adoption and spread programme which aims to transform the diagnosis of ADHD across the region. As part of our Focus ADHD programme we use the QbTest which is an objective assessment tool for the assessment of ADHD. It measures the three core indicators of ADHD:
The QbTest does not provide a diagnosis of ADHD on its own. Instead, it helps NHS clinicians to better understand the person, to enable a more informed and timely diagnosis. The QbTest has also been shown to be helpful in more complex cases and in medicine reviews.
The programme is already being used to help NHS services across the country, where it has been demonstrated to reduce the time taken for a person to get to a diagnosis stage. This decreases the amount of appointments needed, releases clinicians to see more people which helps to reduce waiting times and also helps get a person without ADHD to the right service sooner.
“Since we’ve had QbTest, I can often draw a diagnostic conclusion on the first appointment. You can actually do the job that you’re here to do and that gives you job satisfaction.”
Find out more on the AHSN Network website here.
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