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ADD/ADHD - Thanet ADDers

Meeting with Department of Health

On Wednesday 27th August, I was invited to attend a meeting with senior civil servants at the Department of Health. The meeting had been arranged by Tessa Jowell MP after she had been seen by Kathy West from the south London support group. Apart from Kathy and myself the meeting was also attended by Ben Leete from ADDNet UK and Harry Marsh from Contact a Family. We went along armed with questions as to how the Department were going to help sufferers of ADHD and what they actually knew and were going to do about advancement and continuity of diagnosis and treatment for ADHD around the country.

Bob Jezzard, senior policy advisor and a child psychiatrist, said that the department was aware of the condition and that ADHD was generally discussed under the overall title of child Mental Health. Although we all tried to put over that ADHD is a physical, neurological condition that continued through to adulthood and that with early diagnosis and treatment, either with medication or various other methods, a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering could be avoided.

We also tried to point out how early screening could save a lot of heartache and juvenile delinquency. The officials remained adamant that the condition did not require discussion as a separate issue but would continue to be discussed under the child Mental Health agenda.

Harry Marsh from Contact a Family is writing on our behalf to Tessa Jowell MP asking for ministerial intervention with raising the profile of ADHD in both adults and children and to suggest that an early screening programme, perhaps during the child's first school medical would help with early detection.

Sarah-Jayne Bass (formerly Caroline Hensby)
Thanet ADDers

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