Reducing the costs of ADHD Across Education, Health and Care
4th April 2014
The first UK ADHD Partnership (UKAP) Conference, held at the prestigious Charing Cross Hotel in London offered its international audience the opportunity to explore the direct and hidden costs of ADHD across educational, criminal justice and health services.
Dr Susan Young delivered the President’s welcome to an eager audience, and directed a Call for Action for ADHD to be given more recognition within healthcare and political arenas. Presentations from a multidisciplinary panel of experts offered the audience the current insights into the costs of ADHD.
UKAP patron Lord Ramsbotham discussed the need for early assessment and the on-going necessity to consider needs of both service users and service providers. Professor Maarten Postma identified the estimated annual cost of ADHD in the Netherlands at a staggering €1 billion, and addressed the cost effectiveness of stimulant medication as well as the need for further research. Behaviour and learning expert Fintan O’Regan gave a fresh perspective on managing mood rather than behaviour, and emphasised the importance of ensuring that no child is left behind in education. He also highlighted the need to address current exclusion policies.
Sheila Keeling offered an emotive presentation on her personal journey of difficulties as a mother and as a professional working with adolescents with ADHD. She identified the stressors that families face in the absence of appropriate services and the sense of “relief” when a diagnosis and suitable support is available. Valerie Ivens innovatively orientated Sheila’s experiences with current research and reiterated the UKAP President’s call to lobby government. She invited the audience to appreciate some impressive art work created by children and adolescents with ADHD over a buffet lunch.
Emeritus Professor of Forensic Psychology, Gisli Gudjonsson, CBE, provided evidence for the difficulties faced by individuals with ADHD within the criminal justice system and the associated costs. He drew attention to the impact of ADHD research on the criminal justice system, in particular in decisions made at appeal at the Royal Court of Justice. Professor Peter Hill delivered a captivating presentation on ADHD in the young and the NHS, and addressed the notion that the NHS “carries the can” for intervention costs. He identified the need for more prescribers, improved referral pathways, education for service managers and a review of the current NICE guidelines.
Dr Emad Farrag addressed the issue of ADHD, accidental injury and driving. His exploratory presentation examined the current cost of ADHD and driving related incidents, and inspired a lively audience debate on the ethical issues surrounding ADHD and driving.
The meeting closed with the reflections of Dr Mary Baker, MBE, Chair of the ‘European Year of the Brain 2014’ for the European Brain Council. She described the conference as “excellent” and the speakers as “truly inspirational”. Dr Baker celebrated UKAP’s lead in ADHD compared with other European countries, and was so impressed that she expressed a wish for the respective organisations to work together to move forward with an ADHD initiative. The day ended with an opportunity for networking over a cheese and wine reception.
In our first year, UKAP has achieved a great deal and it is clear from the audience feedback that our conference can be considered a resounding success. There is still much more to be done to support those affected by ADHD, and we hope that our Call for Action will continue to have a positive impact on the way in which ADHD is recognised and understood (more details about the Call for Action can be found here).
Thank you to everyone involved in making the conference such an inspirational and successful day, including speakers, sponsors and delegates. For information about future events please register your name here.
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View a selection of images from the UKAP Conference held in April 2014.