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NHS England’s New ADHD Taskforce

23 May 2024

Professor Anita Thapar
Professor Anita Thapar

NHS England announces a new cross-sector ADHD Taskforce, uniting experts from the NHS, education, charity and justice sectors, to better understand the challenges affecting those with ADHD, including access to services and rising demand.

The new ADHD Taskforce will be chaired by Professor Anita Thapar, a professor in child and adolescent psychiatry in Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, and Joanna Killian, Chief Executive of the Local Government Association and Chair of the Board of St Mungo’s the UK homelessness charity.

The taskforce will engage with patients, service providers, Integrated Care Boards, primary care services, local authorities, schools, educational providers and clinical teams.

I am delighted to jointly lead this taskforce with my co-chair Joanna Killian. One of our first roles will be to appoint the Taskforce membership. Central to our membership we will have people with lived experience guiding us and providing insight. They will be working alongside many experts who together can make a difference to improving ADHD services across England.
Professor Anita Thapar Professor, Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences

Joanna Killian said:This is a fantastic opportunity to work with Anita and colleagues in a cross-sector approach to improve access, patient experience, and outcomes for people. It is clear from the work NHS England has already undertaken that we can only tackle the problems of ADHD service provision by working with partners, other agencies and local government. Helping to resolve the service problems patients currently face, is not a problem solely for the NHS. It is something we need to do together.”

The Taskforce will look at ways of improving ADHD pathways and patient experience as well as making recommendations for reform later in 2024. The ADHD Taskforce is in-line with NHS England’s focus on ADHD with senior clinicians and managers from across the country – aiming to develop a national ADHD data improvement plan and ensure best practice for delivering ADHD services.

Steve Russell, NHS England’s chief delivery officer, said:In response to a growth in demand for services, the NHS launched the first cross-sector ADHD taskforce, and as we continue to build on that momentum I am pleased to announce that Anita and Joanna will jointly chair the taskforce.

“We have recognised that that more needs to be done to ensure people can get a timely diagnosis and importantly, that all needs are addressed and Anita and Joanna’s huge wealth of expertise, backed by the NHS, will be key to driving this important agenda forward to improve care and support for people with ADHD.”