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Adult ADHD service launches

Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area are now receiving the specially-targeted support they need to help manage their condition and lead a fulfilling life.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has launched a dedicated ADHD service to make sure people aged 18 and over can get the right medication, specialist support and access to additional therapy, wherever appropriate.

The service is the first of its kind in Great Yarmouth and Waveney, and is allowing NSFT to take on more referrals and meet an increasing demand for care.

Previously, adult ADHD patients in the area were treated by NSFT doctors with a special interest in developmental disorders, although the number of people they were able to see was limited by the clinic time available.

The new service is being provided by a team made up of a clinical team leader / non-medical nurse prescriber, a staff grade psychiatrist for one day a week, two community mental health nurses (1FTE) and an administrator with support from a named Consultant Psychiatrist. It has been commissioned by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Dariush Fassihi, Clinical Team Leader and a Non-Medical Prescriber, said: “ADHD can have a big impact on people’s lives, causing inattentiveness and leaving them struggling to focus and concentrate. This can make it more difficult for them to work and enjoy the daily activities most of us take for granted.

“But the right medication, combined with additional therapeutic support wherever necessary, can make a huge difference by helping those with the condition to balance their behaviour and live a fulfilling life.

“We are delighted that we have been able to launch this new service, which is one of just a handful catering specifically for adults across the NHS and is already making a difference to lots of people across Great Yarmouth and Waveney.”

ADHD is the most common behavioural disorder, affecting an estimated 1 to 2% of adults in the UK. A lifelong condition, in most cases diagnosed whilst a child is in school. The core symptoms include hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattentiveness, how these symptoms present over a person’s lifetime may change depending on life experiences and stressors they encounter.

Around half of the adults referred to the new service by their GP have never been diagnosed with ADHD, so will take part in a full assessment, carried out by specially trained psychiatrist or non-medical prescriber, before a diagnosis is made. They will then be prescribed medication to help control their condition, together with additional support, such as cognitive behavioural therapy and practical help to plan their work life, wherever necessary.

“We have had some really positive outcomes so far, with patients able to get back into work, start work for the first time and improving engagement with education since receiving help from the service,” added Dariush. “We are now looking at expanding the care we offer still further by developing anger management and living with ADHD groups to offer people an extra level of support.”

The new development means that NSFT now offers services for adults with ADHD across both counties.

Ardyn Ross, GP mental health lead with NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “We are delighted that the new adult service for ADHD has launched in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area. It will provide welcome support for patients and their families, enabling them to manage difficult symptoms through talking therapies and medication.”