What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition which can affect a person’s ability to concentrate and control their own behaviour and impulses. These features generally first appear in childhood, often affecting someone’s school and home life, and often improve with age as the person matures and develops ways to manage these traits.
These traits are very common, and experiencing features such as these does not mean you have ADHD. Most people are able to manage and adapt their thought processes and organisational skills to lead completely normal lives. Referral and other management methods, such as medication, can only be used if these methods are unsuccessful and the person’s life, work, and relationships are significantly affected.
Resources which may help with this can be found further down the page.
Traits and features you might experience
ADHD can be separated into two parts: attention deficit, and hyperactivity. Some people only experience the attention deficit traits, and this is called attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Some of the traits you may have noticed could include:
Attention deficit features: short attention span, being easily distractible, organisation and timekeeping difficulties, seeming forgetful or careless
Hyperactivity features: an inability to sit still, impulsivity, fidgeting and having to be constantly on-the-go, restlessness and risk taking
Self-help and other useful resources
ADHD traits can often be managed by non-medical methods such as self-help, group support, exercise therapy and developing coping strategies. The following links may be helpful in better understanding and managing your condition:
Royal College of Psychiatry ADHD information
NHS Lothian information pack and self-help guide
We would recommend these resources in the first instance, as many people are able to manage without requiring specialist input. If you find they are not helpful, we may be able to discuss referring you for formal assessment by our specialist colleagues.
How to get a diagnosis
Severe cases of ADHD require specialist assessment and are managed by the psychiatry team. For a referral to be considered, there are special forms which need to be filled out, these are linked below. If you think you may have ADHD and would like to be considered for formal assessment, please complete the forms honestly, and bring them to an appointment with any of the doctors where we can discuss this further.
Links to self-report and impairment forms:
The conversation and awareness around ADHD traits has increased massively in recent years. Unfortunately, this means the service is extremely busy and the waiting list time for assessment is around 3 years.
Following an NHS diagnosis and management plan, the specialist team may request us to continue any monitoring or medication in General Practice. This is done using a Shared Care Agreement (read more about these here), whereby specialists initiate treatment, and we are able to continue this under their careful guidance and follow up.
As with any medication, it is not without risk of side effects, and they will not work for everyone. There are many other options for self-help and non-medicinal ways to manage your symptoms, some links to useful websites and resources can be found above.
Private assessment vs NHS
There are private services which can offer shorter wait times to assessment. However, these are not regulated and standardised in the same way that NHS services are. This means that any suggestions or medications started by a private provider cannot be continued and prescribed by GPs at Gilmore Medical Practice. We do not engage in Shared Care Agreements with private providers.
If you have already received a diagnosis of ADHD from a private provider, it may bepossible to get this assessed and approved by the NHS psychiatry team without waiting the full waiting time. This is not always possible and can only be requested by forwarding on a fully documented private assessment as part of an NHS referral. If you think this may apply to you, please bring all documentation to your appointment.
If you have moved to our practice from a different practice within Edinburgh or other parts of the country, and are looking for a prescription for your ADHD medication, please note that we will only be able to prescribe this if we have clear documentation of your NHS diagnosis. Your previous GP may have agreed to prescribe your medication under a Shared Care Agreement with a private provider. Please note that we do not do this at Gilmore Medical Practice and we will not be able to continue your prescription until NHS agreement has been sought.