This week, Healthwatch are running a survey encouraging service users across the UK to speak up about their experiences of health and social care. The hashtag for this is #SpeakUp2020 and the survey is available at https://www.healthwatch.co.uk/speak-2020. You can also contribute by emailing your local Healthwatch directly – a list of all localities and their email addresses is here: https://www.healthwatch.co.uk/your-local-healthwatch/list
This seems like a great opportunity for us to get our voices heard about the lack of ADHD provision across the UK. With this in mind, please use this template email to contact your local Healthwatch about your experiences: http://bit.ly/ADHDtemplate
As part of #SpeakUp2020 I am contacting you to get my voice heard. Please accept this email as a submission as it was more accessible for me to contact you this way than to fill in the online survey. My submission is about the local ADHD services in my area as well as the national lack of services for adults with ADHD in the UK. I live in <enter where you live> and there are major problems with accessing ADHD services. I have been waiting for <enter time you have been waiting for> to get seen for an assessment, and this would never be the case if it was a physical condition. This isn’t fair – ADHD is a recognised disability under the Equality Act (2010) and without treatment it causes so much pain to those who have it.
In 2017, Healthwatch in York wrote this report all about the problem in that area: https://www.healthwatchyork.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Support-for-Adults-with-ADHD-A-HWY-Report.pdf. It would be amazing if a study like this could be extended to other areas. The stories in this report are the same for people all around the UK so please do read them to get an idea of what I and other people with this condition are having to go through at the moment.
The prevalence of ADHD is approximately 5%, so that means that in the UK there are around 3,394,301 (3 million, 394 thousand and 301) people with ADHD. But of all of those people, only 2.3% of the adults have had access to a diagnosis and only 0.1% of us have been able to access treatment. Because of the way ADHD has been portrayed in the media, people think it’s ‘easy’ to get an ADHD diagnosis when actually it is impossible. Some doctors still even believe that ADHD isn’t real or only affects children, and we all experience so much stigma if we even mention ADHD even though all controversy around ADHD has now been disproved by brain imaging technology. All across the UK people with ADHD are marginalised and our voices don’t get heard as we struggle with paperwork and forms. Please help us by looking into this problem, as it is a national problem and up and down the UK we are being let down by the NHS. You can see how much of a postcode lottery this is by looking at this map: https://www.ukaan.org/adult-adhd-service-map and to see the evidence for all of these statistics and how much of an impact undiagnosed ADHD is having on the UK, please look at https://attentionuk.org/about/why-you-should-care/.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my email and please let me know if you have any questions.