Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can affect many aspects of a person’s life. However, diagnosis is complex and requires a specialist, usually a consultant psychiatrist to do this.  

GPs are not able to make a diagnosis of ADHD and a referral is needed to an ADHD specialist. If an ADHD diagnosis is subsequently made by the specialist, they may choose to offer medications to help manage the symptoms. These medications are potentially dangerous and therefore require careful monitoring. The specialist is responsible for starting the medications, making any dose adjustments and arranging a yearly review which includes a physical assessment. The GP can prescribe medications as advised by the specialist, but they cannot adjust the dose and are only able to prescribe these medications if the patient has an in- date annual review with the specialist. If this yearly review is not completed, the GP will have to stop prescribing the medication. 

There is currently a long waiting list for NHS ADHD referrals. Understandably, this is very frustrating, and some patients are looking at other options for diagnosis. The local Integrated Care Board (ICB) has commissioned a single point of access pathway for ADHD referrals within Oxfordshire. This is to ensure equitable access to services. This takes precedence over the ‘right to choose’ guidance from NHS England. We are therefore not in a position to make a NHS referral to other providers via the ‘right to choose pathway’ and any such request will be turned down.   

You can choose to be referred to a private provider, but should you choose to follow this route and a diagnosis is made, the GP will not be in a position to prescribe ADHD medication or arrange monitoring. This must all be done through the private provide and you may need to check on the costs of ongoing treatment including prescribing and yearly reviews.