Background: Once considered to be a disorder restricted to childhood, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is now recognised to persist into adult life. However, service provision for adults with ADHD is limited. Additionally, there is little guidance or research on how best to transition young people with ADHD from child to adult services.
Method: We report the findings of a survey of 96 healthcare professionals working in children’s (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Community Paediatrics) and adult services across five NHS Trusts within the East Midlands region of England to gain a better understanding of the current provision of services for young people with ADHD transitioning into adult mental health services.
Results: Our findings indicate a lack of structured guidelines on transitioning and little communication between child and adult services. Child and adult services had differing opinions on what they felt adult services should provide for ADHD cases. Adult services reported feeling ill-prepared to deal with ADHD patients, with clinicians in these services citing a lack of specific knowledge of ADHD and a paucity of resources to deal with such cases.
Conclusions: We discuss suggestions for further research, including the need to map the national provision of services for adults with ADHD, and provide recommendations for commissioned adult ADHD services. We specifically advocate an increase in ADHD-specific training for clinicians in adult services, the development of specialist adult ADHD clinics and greater involvement of Primary Care to support the work of generic adult mental health services in adult ADHD management.
Hall, C. L., Newell, K., Taylor, J., Sayal, K., Swift, K. D., & Hollis, C. (2013). ‘Mind the gap’ - mapping services for young people with ADHD transitioning from child to adult mental health services. BMC Psychiatry, 13(186), doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-186