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The research aims to identify existing services and gaps in provision for young adults with ADHD

National research extended to stop young adults with ADHD slipping through the net

Researchers at the University of Exeter have launched the second phase of a national survey to help identify existing services and gaps in provision for young adults with Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder (ADHD).

Once considered to be a condition restricted to childhood, there is clear evidence that ADHD persists into adulthood for many young people, with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recently formalising its status as a long-term condition. Despite this, little is known about how many areas in the UK have specialist services for adults with ADHD, and how many young people need to move to them once they are too old for children’s services.

Anna Price, Associate Research Fellow working on the Children and Adolescents with ADHD in Transition between Children’s and Adult’s Services (CATCh-uS) project, said: “For adolescents who need to transition into adult services, this change comes at a crucial and vulnerable time, when multiple other changes are happening such as moving on to higher education, starting work or changing home. If adult ADHD services are not available, or importantly, if the young person, their parent or carer, or clinician do not know about local adult ADHD services, this young person may slip through the net and stop receiving the support they need. It is therefore imperative we improve awareness of ADHD service provision nationally.”

The CATCh-uS Mapping Survey is being implemented by researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School to tackle these issues head-on, and help inform future service development.

As part of the survey, young people, parents and practitioners are being asked whether their area provides services for adults with ADHD, and if so, to provide details. The survey responses will allow researchers to establish a comprehensive list of existing adult ADHD services in the UK.

Launched in July 2016, Phase 1 of the CATCh-uS Mapping Survey garnered over 1,400 responses nationwide, with 21 Specialist Adult ADHD Services being identified to create a preliminary map of available services around the country. Running until October 2018, Phase 2 of the survey will build on these findings by discovering how service provision has changed over time.

The survey is part of the wider CATCh-uS Project, which focuses on what happens to young people with ADHD when they are too old to stay within children’s services. It aims to establish how many young people with ADHD are in need of services for ADHD as adults, and investigate young peoples, parents and practitioner’s views about the transition process.

The Mapping strand of the CATCh-uS Project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research, and is being run in collaboration with the Royal College of Psychiatrists and ADHD support groups:  AADD-UKADHD foundation and UK Adult ADHD Network.

To take part in the CATCh-uS Mapping Survey, visit:

Date: 8 January 2018

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