NHS ADHD CARE POST 18 IN WANDSWORTH
To be updated . . . .
We've got a pretty good NHS provision for children and young people affected by ADHD in Wandsworth. This is headed up by some fantastic Paediatric Consultants and ADHD Nurses. It's my view that it's a service under pressure by high demand but that is not an unusual theme in the current economical and political climate. I am sure that it could benefit with extra funding and resources. For me and my children on the whole it's been responsive and well organised. However, what happens after children turn 18 and become 'adults' in Wandsworth, for me is a big concern.
I am still investigating this so at this stage I am going to reserve a final comment pending further information.
However, as I understand it there is no provision in Wandsworth for adults with ADHD or children becoming adults . . .
What is on offer is a referral to SLAM (South London and Maudsley Hospital). Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Service. See the link below for further details.
This year I was diagnosed myself with ADHD. I went to my GP and I asked to be referred for an assessment. My GP told me that there is no service in Wandsworth exists for assessing and diagnosing adults! I was told that it was felt not to be cost effective. I was very shocked. Not to be put off, I went for a private diagnosis in Harley Street. This cost me £600 (which has subsequently risen to £700) and was carried out by a respected Consultant who works both privately and for the NHS in the field of ADHD. My diagnosis was subsequently confirmed. I was right to persist with it.
I later found out via the Clinical Commissioning Group in Wandsworth that actually my GP was misinformed and I could have been referred to SLAM for a diagnosis/assessment. How long I would have waited I am not sure? The person that I was in touch with at the Clinical Commissioning Group assured me that he would send a message out to all GP's in the borough to remind them about the SLAM service. I am concerned about how many people have potentially been turned away already by GP's? I was undeterred and found the money for private diagnosis but I am sure not everyone would be able to.
Further along the line, via a complaint the CCG reimbursed the full cost of my private diagnosis which was a massive achievement and victory for me!
I also have concerns for my own children when they reach 18. My oldest sons are 15 & 16 and have an ADHD diagnosis. My concerns are the following:
1) Will they have to wait a long time to get to see someone in SLAM?
2) Do they offer emergency appointments, in person and over the telephone?
3) How will my son's who live in Wandsworth manage getting to the Maudsley Hospital which is in Camberwell, in light of the other diagnosis which they have including a learning disability, Autism and a speech and language disability?
4) How easy will it be for their Paediatric Consultant in Neurodisability to transfer their care?
5) Will the quality/consistency of care be the same?
6) Will they offer an ADHD nursing team to make regular checks on medication? Height, Weight, Blood Pressure etc?
7) I do wonder how much pressure the SLAM service is under since they take referrals from the whole country?
I have asked informally to see Wandsworth's funding agreement for SLAM and I am also going to write to the Chief Executive of the SLAM Service to ask these questions and I will report back on the findings as they become available.