ADHD has long been recognized as a condition affecting children and under-18s. However, it is now known to be a condition that often persists in adults, and is estimated to affect one in twenty people over the age of 18.
ADHD can particularly affect focus, concentration, and organization and planning skills. It can be linked to impulsive decision-making and episodes of frustration. ADHD can affect study, learning, work and relationships, and can have a wide-ranging impact on achievement and wellbeing.
Diagnosis is key. Haydock Medical Centre has offered a specialist-led Adult ADHD service to patients in St Helens since April 2020. We will be offering this service to patients in Lancashire from April 2021.
Access to the service is by direct referral from GPs (and in some cases from local mental health services) in these areas.
When we book an appointment, we will send out self-rating information for patients to complete. We will then arrange a day and time for a video consultation using Zoom. We started offering Zoom because of the COVID lockdown, but it's been a big success and has proved to be really convenient and popular with our patients. For some people, it may be impossible to use Zoom - we can arrange face-to-face consultations when required.
An assessment usually takes about 90 minutes. We ask, whenever possible, that someone who knows the patient very well attends the consultation too - it's extremely helpful to have a relative or close friend available to help provide their perspective. Assessment will involve a very detailed discussion of the history of any symptoms. This will enable our clinician to make a decision on the best treatment to offer. We can prescribe medication, and also provide advice on practical steps to take to help reduce the impact of ADHD.
We would then usually offer up to three further Zoom appointments to review how well the treatments are working - although sometimes more appointments may be required. Once people are settled on treatment that suits them, we would transfer their care back to their own GPs who would do annual blood pressure and weight checks. For Lancashire and South Cumbria patients, we will continue to provide an annual review of ADHD treatment.