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ADHD care failing

13th July 2007

Psychiatrists claim the NHS is failing people who have adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

With only a few clinics that treat the disorder, known as ADHD, psychiatrists have called upon the government to give it a higher priority.

Up to 4% of adults are affected by the condition, which has symptoms of inattention and impulsiveness.

Professor Anthony Hale, who is professor of psychiatry at the University of Kent, said there were a huge number of people across the UK who are on waiting lists to see adult psychiatrists but there is not the expertise available to deal with them.

He said: “The 4% of the adult population figure is very real. There are only a handful of clinics and specialists at the moment across the country who are doing it. And the rest of them are getting random allocation of care to all the different existing bits of the service that aren’t really suitable.?

Only in the last few years has clear evidence emerged of ADHD in adults. While about 8% of children are affected, research indicates more than half take the symptoms into later life.

Experts say that treatment costs as little as £60 a month and is effective but that Britain is years behind most other European countries in dealing with this problem.

The Department of Health said ADHD is increasingly being recognised as a potential problem in adults and that it is working with the Royal College of Psychiatrists to strengthen training for general psychiatrists in the diagnosis and treatment of adult ADHD.

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