Concerns over delays in assessing youngsters for ADHD across Doncaster

Nearly two thirds of patients in Doncaster are waiting too long to have suspected ADHD cases assessed, figures have revealed.  

Under official guidelines, assessments for suspected Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are supposed competed within an 18 week target period – around four months

Mum Claire Bull with son Sheridan, who was diagnosed with ADHD as a child

Mum Claire Bull with son Sheridan, who was diagnosed with ADHD as a child

But figures for August this year showed that only 34.5 per cent were being seen in that time,  against a target of 92 per cent.

ADHD is a behavioural disorder that includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

Chairman of Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr David Crichton, said: “We’re aware of the issue and raising it with the organisation that provides the service.

“We expect it to improve month on month but it is going to take a bit of time to get it back to 92 per cent.”

Doncaster mum Claire Bull is concerned about the delays. Her son, Sheridan, now aged 19, was diagnosed with ADHD as a four year old.

He was taken out of mainstream school at the age of seven because of the effect his ADHD had on his behaviour.

Claire, of Madingley Close, Balby. said: “The effects of ADHD and autism on the children and the families is astonishing, all the way into adulthood where they are able to control themselves a little bit.

“The lack of understanding and support in Doncaster still astounds me and the increasingly long times that it is taking to get a diagnosis and support can cause all sorts of family issues.”

She said as well as the effects on the children themselves, the delays had effects on their brothers and sisters, effects on mums’ and dads’  ability to parent, and on the mental health of parents. 

Claire’s son is now in independent living accommodation, donig voluntary work. He has his own You Tube channel.

Joanne McDonough, Doncaster Care Group Director at RDaSH, said: “We are working closely with our commissioners to explore options and new ways of working to tackle the delays in the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder diagnostic pathway for children and young people. 

“These delays have arisen over time and are due to a couple of factors. The first is the increase in demand for this specialist diagnostic assessment as a result of the Global Development Assessment within the community paediatrician service run in partnership with Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals.  The second relates to changes in staffing and the challenges we are experiencing to recruit staff with the appropriate skills for this type of service.

“We are looking at ways to create capacity from within our existing resources and continue to work with Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group to secure any additional resources.  We are also exploring options of working with partner services and establishing short term agency support to meet the increased demand while we continue our staff recruitment efforts.”