National Programme —

Focus ADHD

Working with mental health trusts and community paediatric services to improve the assessment process for ADHD and understand pathway innovation needs.

Two young children sit at a table drawing with pencils

Increasing availability of objective assessments for children suspected of having ADHD where a need is identified 

Reducing waiting times and unnecessary appointments before ADHD diagnosis  

Improving patients’, carers’ and clinicians’ experiences around diagnosis and throughout the pathway 

Detailed Programme Information

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological condition affecting 5% of school aged children. 

Whilst ADHD can be managed and treated, the condition can have a significant impact on personal development, academic outcomes and family interaction if untreated. Diagnosis is often subjective, and lengthy, (on average 18 months), and costly to the NHS. 

Using an objective assessment tool (QbTest) to measure attention, impulsivity and activity can support a subjective assessment, leading to faster diagnoses, and a better experience for patients, carers and clinicians.  

The AHSN network is rolling out this programme by region, working closely with local trusts and stakeholders to explore benefits and map service need for pathway integration.  

Since January 2017, 51 trusts across 100 sites now provide an objective assessment test, and during Covid in the last 18 months preceding September 2021, 19,500 tests were completed across the country. 

For more information, please contact Programme Manager, Steve Johnson-Wood.

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