Kevin, 49, pays £1.5k for private ADHD diagnosis - and NHS won't accept it

An adult living with ADHD is facing a 12 month-plus wait for an NHS assessment - despite paying £1,500 for one from a ‘leading expert’. Kevin Healey went private after learning about the NHS ADHD assessments backlog.

But North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare (NSCH) NHS Trust has refused to accept the private report and says it must carry out its own assessment before it can offer any help.

Kevin, aged 49, from Newcastle, said: “I find it outrageous and I’m frustrated with the whole system. I’m a person who’s got ADHD and I cannot access medication because I’ve got to be reassessed. I was diagnosed by a leading expert. I’ve now got to wait a whole year to be re-diagnosed when I’ve already got ADHD. It’s so wrong and I’ve never heard of anything so stupid.”

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A GP has added Kevin's private diagnosis to his NHS medical records. But it could be revoked if the NHS does not diagnose Kevin with ADHD.

Kevin added: “The GP said it straight away - they'd like to prescribe the medications but they can’t. It's got to be done through the proper referral channels. If they don’t agree with the person who diagnosed me privately - a world-renowned expert in her field - they will dismiss all her information and revoke my diagnosis.”

Kevin has autism and founded North Staffordshire Asperger’s and Autism Association and Staffordshire Adults Autistic Society. He has to cough up £200-a-month to pay for the ADHD medication privately.

He added: “With ADHD I don’t feel normal. It is a condition which takes over somebody's life. You can't focus or sustain attention. It leads to problems with everyday life.

“When it comes to autism and ADHD there is this barrier in the way all the time. I’ve fought for people and parents of children, now I’m fighting for myself. I’m not going to let this rest until something has been done about it.”

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust is attempting to tackle the backlog.

NSCH chief operating officer Ben Richards said: "We are aware that there is a need to invest in adult ADHD services and we were delighted to receive funding from the local health system to do exactly this, including recruiting additional staff. We are very aware that there is a great deal of demand for these services which we are having to work through as we build up the new service. In line with every part of the NHS, we have to ensure that the services we provide meet mandatory national guidelines for high quality and safety.

“Unfortunately, the assessments carried out by some private providers do not always meet these high standards, which is why we have to independently assess each and every external referral to reassure both ourselves and our service users. It would not be appropriate to comment on individual cases or specific assessments carried out by any particular private provider, but we can assure everyone that we are working as quickly as possible to address the backlog of demand for these much-valued services."

Kevin has set up a petition calling for the government to provide funding for the NHS to reduce waiting time for ADHD assessments. To sign the petition, click here.

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