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Specialist teams for ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural condition that affects not only the life of the person with the disorder, but also families and carers. The symptoms include being unable to concentrate for very long or finish a task, being fidgety and unable to sit still, and being impulsive. ADHD is common: it is estimated to affect up to 3% of school-age children and young people in the UK,and about 2% of adults worldwide.*

In guidance issued in September 2008, NICE emphasised that children, young people and adults affected by ADHD need accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. It called for local NHS trusts to provide specialist teams of professionals able to provide appropriate services to people of all ages.

The guidance also recommends that:

  • parents and carers receive training in supporting children and young people affected by ADHD
  • children with moderate levels of impairment should receive cognitive behavioural therapy
  • children with the most severe symptoms should be offered drug treatment as a first-line treatment
  • in all cases drug treatment should form part of a comprehensive care package.

Dr Kapil Sayal, Senior Lecturer in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and guideline development group member, said: "This guideline will help to ensure that ADHD is accurately identified and recognised by health professionals. There needs to be improved awareness, identification and recognition of children and young people with these problems, so that they are able to access the right care at the right time."

This page was last updated: 10 August 2009

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Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.