• CCG warns it could take five years to reduce ADHD waiting list to “acceptable levels”
  • More than 1,000 patients left waiting for an assessment in Liverpool, as case load quadruples capacity

A CCG has warned it could take five years to return attention deficit hyperactivity disorder assessment wait times to “acceptable levels”.

Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group has confirmed it has 1,084 adults currently waiting for an assessment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

According to board papers published by the CCG, its current provider of adult ADHD services, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership Foundation Trust “is unable to respond to the high level of demand”.

The paper added: “Third sector providers of psychological support are also unable to absorb the significant increase in demand for pre and post-treatment support. [The] existing service is contracted to assess only 120 patients per year – modelling carried out by [the] CCG estimates it would take five years to manage the current waiting list down to acceptable levels.”

The news comes following other reports of ADHD assessment backlogs across England, in March last year HSJ reported more than 800 children in Sussex had been waiting for almost two years for an assessment. 

HSJ understands some CCGs do not provide an adult ADHD assessment service at all. 

In a statement to HSJ, Dr Tony Llyod, chief executive for the ADHD Foundation said there was an emerging trend of young people being discharged from children’s services on their 16th birthday rather than their 18th, resulting in a surge of new referrals to adult ADHD services. 

He added another challenge was that: ”Two-year plus waiting lists for children to access a diagnosis have created a grey area for those aged 14 to 15, who will find it difficult to access a service before being transferred over to an adult waiting list often provided by a different trust or provider.” 

A spokeswoman for Liverpool CCG, said “Like other areas of the country we have seen a significant increase in demand for ADHD services in recent years. The initial estimated case-load was set at 90 patients, but the current case-load is 365 patients, which has meant people waiting much longer for assessment, in spite of an increased investment from £41,486 in 2010 to £125,341 in the current year.”

The CCG said it is working with its provider Cheshire and Wirral Partnership FT, to improve service pathways and address the current waiting list.

It added: “As an immediate first step we have put in place additional funding which will allow Cheshire and Wirral Partnership to prioritise supporting patients who are transitioning from children’s to adult services, which is approximately 120 patients, between January and March 2019.”