The petitions site is closed.

There will be a General Election on Thursday 4 July. This means that Parliament has been dissolved and that all parliamentary business – including petitions – has been stopped.

Find out more on the Petitions Committee website

Closed petition Review management of ADHD assessments and increase funding

The Government should commission a review of how Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) assessments are managed by the NHS, including through Shared Care Agreements, and increase funding to reduce waiting times.

More details

In July 2020, a Freedom of Information request made by the BBC found that over 21,000 people were waiting for ADHD assessment on the NHS. Some people have spent up to 5 years on the waiting list.

NHS Constitution states it should be no more than 18 weeks from referral to seeing a consultant for non-urgent, consultant-led treatments. ADHD is a chronic mental health issue.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

10,574 signatures

Show on a map

100,000

Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 6 February 2023

Watch the petition 'Review management of ADHD assessments and increase funding' being debated

Government responded

This response was given on 21 April 2022

It is vital to have timely assessments for ADHD so people can get the right support. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence have clear guidelines on improving assessments and diagnosis.

Read the response in full

The Department acknowledges that some people are experiencing long waits for an assessment of ADHD. We recognise that it is vital that people receive a timely assessment and diagnosis of ADHD, as this is important in enabling people to access the care and support they need to live fulfilled lives.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the organisation that provides guidelines for assessing ADHD and we are guided by NICE’s evidence-based recommendations in these guidelines. We expect all Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS trusts to follow NICE’s ADHD guideline ‘Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: diagnosis and management’ to improve the assessment and diagnosis of ADHD in adults and children, and the quality of care and support that people receive. Making a diagnosis can be complex because there is no physical test for ADHD (such as a blood test). The NICE guideline therefore does not recommend a maximum waiting time between referral and an assessment for ADHD. The NICE guideline was last updated in September 2019 and in particular recognises the underdiagnosis and misdiagnosis of ADHD in girls and women and the importance of people being able to access support to manage their symptoms and live well with ADHD.

We have no current plans to review how ADHD assessments are managed by the NHS, as it is for CCGs to commission and provide these services based on the needs of their local population. In addition, under the Health and Social Care Act (2012), it is for commissioners to decide how services are funded in their area.

The Handbook to the NHS Constitution (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supplements-to-the-nhs-constitution-for-england) sets out that patients should start consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral, with certain exceptions including services that are not consultant-led and services provided or commissioned by local authorities. ADHD assessments do not fall within this guidance and decisions about ADHD services and treatment are made locally by CCGs.

We and NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I) do not define ADHD as a mental health condition, but a group of behavioural symptoms that often exist in conjunction with many other conditions whose symptoms can overlap and mask those of ADHD e.g. autism, language disorder, dyspraxia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and mental health conditions.

Assessments, diagnosis and the provision of support for people with ADHD are carried out in various care settings. Data on the number of people waiting for an ADHD diagnosis and how long they have been waiting is not collected nationally but may be held locally by some CCGs. NHS Digital are working to improve the quality of relevant datasets, such as the Mental Health Services dataset and the Community Services dataset. Improving data on ADHD will be an important first step in determining where further action may need to be taken to support people.

To support earlier identification of ADHD, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan NHSE/I are working with local authority children’s social care and education services as well as expert charities to support neurodivergent children, including children with ADHD and their families, throughout the diagnostic process.

I hope this reply is helpful and provides some reassurance of the expectations on CCGs to provide ADHD assessments, diagnosis and support, as well as our work to improve early identification through the NHS Long Term Plan.

Department of Health and Social Care

Government urged to strengthen draft Mental Health Bill by parliamentary committee

A group of MPs and members of the House of Lords has published a report looking at the Government's draft Mental Health Bill. They have called for changes to the draft Bill to address rising numbers of people detained under the Mental Health Act and to tackle racial inequalities.

Specific changes the report calls for include:

  • The creation of a new statutory Mental Health Commissioner to monitor mental health reforms
  • Including respect for racial equality in the Bill
  • Improving how data on detentions under the Mental Health Act is collected and monitored
  • Abolishing Community Treatment Orders for civil patients
  • Strengthening duties regarding community services for people with learning disabilities and autistic people
  • Giving patients who are or have been detained the right to request an advance choice document is drawn up

The report was produced by the Joint Committee on the Draft Mental Health Bill, a cross-party group of MPs and members from the House of Lords that was appointed to consider the Government's draft Bill to reform the Mental Health Act 1983

What is a draft Bill?

A draft Bill is published to enable 'pre-legislative scrutiny', which is the detailed examination of an early draft of legislation. This is done by a parliamentary select committee before the final Bill is drawn up by the Government.

What happens next?

With the publication of its report the Joint Committee’s work is finished.

The Government now must respond to the committee's report, and draw up a final version of the Mental Health Bill. It is up to the Government when to publish a final version of this Bill, and introduce it in Parliament.

Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament

Sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference.

Share your views on waiting times for ADHD and ASD (autism) assessments

The MPs on the Petitions Committee have scheduled a debate on this petition and the following petition:

Elliot Colburn MP, a member of the Petitions Committee, has been asked to open the debate.

Share your views

To inform the debate, we would like to hear from you about:

  • your experience of being diagnosed with, waiting for, or seeking an assessment for ADHD or ASD (autism)
  • your experience of having a child who has been diagnosed with, is awaiting an assessment for, or you suspect may have ADHD or ASD (autism)
  • your views on waiting times for ADHD and ASD (autism) assessments

You can share your views with us by completing this survey: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=nt3mHDeziEC-Xo277ASzSpMLsAawCSdBvMh9cdt5o9ZUNUVSOVBSTEtSMDVDRlRTSzFGSlVTUTBFTC4u

The survey will close on Wednesday 25 January at 10am.

Your responses will be anonymous. A summary of responses will be published on the Parliament. It will also be shared with MPs and may be referred to in the debate or within other parliamentary documents. Please don't share anything that may identify you.

Watch the debate

The debate will take place on Monday 6 February at 4.30pm.

What are petitions debates?

Petitions debates are ‘general’ debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers.

Petition debates don’t end with a vote to implement the request of a petition. This means that MPs will not vote on changing indefinite leave to remain fees at the end of the debate.

Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament

Sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference.

MPs debate waiting times for ADHD and ASD (autism) assessments

The Petitions Committee scheduled a debate in the House of Commons on the petition you signed. This took place on Monday 6 February 2023. A member of the Committee, Elliot Colburn MP opened the debate.

Read a summary of our survey results, watch the debate and access other relevant material:

What did you tell us about ADHD and ASD (autism) assessment waiting times?

To inform the debate, we conducted a survey to hear from you about people's:

  • experience of being diagnosed with, waiting for, or seeking an assessment for ADHD or ASD (autism)
  • experience of having a child who has been diagnosed with, is awaiting an assessment for, or you suspect may have ADHD or ASD (autism)
  • views on waiting times for ADHD and ASD (autism) assessments

  • Read a full summary of the survey results

What are petitions debates?

Petitions debates are ‘general’ debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions and put their concerns to Government Ministers.

Petition debates don’t end with a vote to implement the request of a petition. This means that MPs will not vote on changing indefinite leave to remain fees at the end of the debate.

Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament

Sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference.

MPs ask Government about action to reduce waiting times for ADHD and autism assessments

MPs on the Petitions Committee have written to the Minister for Mental Health and Women's Health Strategy to follow up on issues raised during the debate on the petition you signed.

Catherine McKinnell MP, the Chair of the Petitions Committee, and Elliot Colburn MP, who opened the debate on the petition you signed, have asked the Government for further information about the action it is taking to reduce waiting times for ADHD and autism assessments, including:

  • the Government's pilot tests for improvements in diagnostic pathways and their plans to create a data dashboard on ADHD assessment and diagnosis
  • what the Government is doing to ensure that every integrated care board has an executive lead and what steps they are taking to improve training for educational and medical professionals on how best to diagnose and support neurodiverse people
  • the Government’s plans to create a data dashboard to collect national data on ADHD, including a timeline for its creation

The Government has been asked to reply by Thursday 23 March. We’ll share the Government's response with you when we receive this.

Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament

Sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference.

Government provides update on action to reduce waiting times for ADHD and autism assessments

Last month MPs on the Petitions Committee wrote to the Minister for Mental Health and Women's Health Strategy to follow up on issues raised during the debate on the petition you signed.

The Minister for Mental Health and Women's Health Strategy Maria Caulfield MP has responded, giving further information about what plans by the Government and NHS to reduce waiting times for ADHD and autism assessments, and tackle related issues. She said:

  • NHS England is looking at ways to improve the quality of diagnosis for girls as part of their wider work on improving autism assessment pathways
  • The Government are currently scoping how best to improve data on ADHD assessment waiting times, to help improve access to ADHD assessments in a timely way and in line with the NICE guideline.
  • NHS England is developing statutory guidance for Integrated Care Boards in relation to Executive Lead roles including the lead role for Autism and Learning Disabilities.
  • From 1 July 2022 Care Quality Commissioner (CQC) registered providers will be required to ensure their staff receive specific training on learning disability and autism appropriate to their role.
  • The Department for Education are providing free SEND-specific training and support through the Universal Services programme, which is designed to reach 70% of schools and FE colleges per year.

Read the Government's full response

Read the Petitions Committee's letter asking for an update on the Government's plans

On 28 February 2023 Catherine McKinnell MP, the Chair of the Petitions Committee, and Elliot Colburn MP, who opened the debate, asked the Government for further information about the action it is taking to reduce waiting times for ADHD and autism assessments and improve support, including:

  • the Government's pilot tests for improvements in diagnostic pathways and their plans to create a data dashboard on ADHD assessment and diagnosis
  • what the Government is doing to ensure that every integrated care board has an executive lead and what steps they are taking to improve training for educational and medical professionals on how best to diagnose and support neurodiverse people
  • the Government’s plans to create a data dashboard to collect national data on ADHD, including a timeline for its creation

Read the Committee's letter

Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament

Sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference.