Several key policy papers set the context for the work needed to deliver effective services for children and young people with ADHD:
Future in Mind (2013) – Future in Mind is a government initiative aiming to transform the way child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are delivered nationally. 75% of adults with mental health conditions experience symptoms before the age of 18, but reportedly as few as one-in-four children and young people in the UK are being reached that could be helped. Future in Mind is about the need to tackle this and create a system that brings together the potential of online resources, schools, social care, the NHS, the voluntary sector, parents and of course children and young people.
The Five-Year Forward View for Mental Health (2016) – The Five-Year Forward View for Mental Health called for the recommendations made in the Future in Mind (2013) report to be implemented in full, including:
- Early intervention and quick access to good quality care are vital – especially for children and young people
- Waiting times should be substantially reduced, significant inequalities in access should be addressed and support should be offered while people are waiting for care
- Support for more children and young people to be able to access high-quality mental health care when they need it. This required a fundamental change in the way services are commissioned, emphasising prevention, early identification and evidence-based care.
Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision: A Green Paper (2017) – This paper builds on Future in Mind and sets out an ambition to ensure that children and young people showing early signs of distress are always able to access the right help, in the right setting, when they need it. A key focus is to reduce the time it takes to get treatment from children and young people’s mental health services.
NICE Guidance NG87: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: diagnosis and management (2018) – This NICE guideline (NG87) covers recognising, diagnosing and managing ADHD in children, young people and adults. It aims to improve recognition and diagnosis, as well as the quality of care and support for people with ADHD. A national working group has since been established to discuss implementation challenges and generate potential solutions to tackle unwarranted national variations in service delivery and delays in identification and diagnosis.
The NHS Long Term Plan (2019) – The NHS Long Term Plan had focus on making sure everyone gets the best start in life, including related areas:
- Increasing funding for children and young people’s mental health
- Bringing down waiting times for autism assessments
- Providing the right care for children with a learning disability.