Delays treating Doncaster kids with behavioural probelms is hitting schools, warns mum

Children in Doncaser are waiting as long as a year and four months to be diagnosed with ADHD, warn health officials.

Friday, 29th November 2019, 1:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 2:11 pm

Figures presented to Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have revealed that recent figures for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, for August, showed only 23 per cent of youngsters were seen inside within an 18 week target period – around four months.

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

The August figure was an improvement on the statistics for July, which had been only 19.6 per cent. The target is to have 92 per cent seen within 18 weeks.

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

The report before the Clinical Commissioning Group governing body at its November meeting stated: “There are currently 35 children waiting over 18 weeks for a diagnosis with the longest wait at 68 weeks.”

The 68 week wait represents nearly a year longer than the target.

Health bosses say youngsters will have had an initial assessment, which would have discounted ADHD in some and looked at other behavioural problems instead.

Dr David Crichton, the chairman of the CCG, said the gap was between that initial assessment and the assessment for the formal diagnosis.

He said funding was available for the service, but there was a lack of professionals qualified to do the job.

Barbara Murray, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust’s (RDaSH) Manager for Children’s Services said: “I want to apologise to anyone with children in Doncaster who are waiting to be diagnosed as potentially having ADHD.

“This is an issue that health colleagues are also facing around the rest of the country. In Doncaster we are working with the local clinical commissioning group to look at ways in which we can resolve the waiting list situation. Our staff are currently working additional hours and holding clinics on Saturdays to tackle the waiting times. We are also currently advertising two additional clinical psychology jobs in the team.

“Families on the waiting list have had some contact from the service while waiting and are aware that they can contact us at any time if they require support or advice.”

Doncaster mum Claire Bull, from Balby, faced a battle to get a disgnosis for her son Sheridan, now aged 20, when he was a child.

He was taken out of mainstream school at the age of seven because of the effect his ADHD had on his behaviour. She waited three years for a diagnosis of ADHD and six years for autism

She said: “It is not just about the diagnosis – it is about the support that leads to for the child and the family.

“It pulls on resources from other places like social services and schools. It has a huge ongoing impact that people don’t realise. If a family needs support but there is no dignosis, that support is not there. There is no support for schools with things like individual learning plans.”

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