RCPsych welcomes new ADHD taskforce

Statement / comment
30 March 2024

NHS England, alongside Government, has announced that they will be launching a new attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) taskforce to improve care for people living with the condition. 

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 those with ADHD and help provide a joined up approach in response to concerns around rising demand.

Commenting on the news, Dr Ulrich Müller-Sedgwick, spokesperson for the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: 

“We welcome the commitment to a new ADHD taskforce, and fully support the ambition to bring together cross-sector expertise to better understand the challenges, and provide joined-up solutions, for people living with ADHD.

“ADHD is the most common mental health condition in children and up to 1 in 25 adults have ADHD. The demand for services is growing as people become more aware of the disorder. ADHD’s impacts are life-long, affecting lots of different brain functions, including learning, communication, movement, emotions and attention.

“Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals across the country are seeing record numbers of people coming forward in need of an ADHD assessment and support. It is good to see the NHS making this issue a top priority and exploring how services can best meet people’s needs, including the necessary resource to meet demand. However, we must ensure decisions about patient pathways are backed by better data and we support the work being done to develop a national ADHD data improvement plan.

“We are aware many people are struggling to access care due to long waiting lists, medication shortages and a lack of available services in various parts of the country. The work to provide detailed mapping of existing ADHD services, both within the NHS and independent sector providers, with the identification of best practice and innovation will be vital shared learning.

“People with ADHD often have a co-occurring mental illness, and so it is important they receive holistic care which addresses all their needs. Psychiatrists have a key role to play in creating solutions to these challenges, such as the development of better care pathways and training schemes. However, this will need to be supported by additional investment into the expansion of services and recruitment and retention of staff.

“The College is committed to working with the NHS and Government to take full advantage of this important opportunity. This work has the potential to reshape and improve care for millions of people across the country.”

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