January 14

What to expect from a private Adult ADHD assessment


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder characterized by persistent conditions of distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. In adults, ADHD affects the functioning of complex mental processes such as concentration, motivation, problem-solving, working memory and sustained attention, making everyday life a challenge. We have already written a couple of blog posts about ADHD, including what it is and symptoms and some top-tips on how to manage symptoms.

There is usually a lengthy waiting list for an ADHD assessment in the NHS, particularly for children, which is one of the reasons it is not diagnosed until the individual is an adult. With that being said, this should not be a deterrent for you and you should still request a referral from your GP, but if you feel that you cannot wait there are private clinics that will offer you an assessment and treatment package. There are of course pros and cons to this, which we will discuss throughout.

This is what you would typically expect in a private Adult ADHD assessment at Phoenix Mental Health Services. We will try to keep this as clear and succinct as possible.

It starts with you thinking you may have ADHD and enquiring about an assessment (more information here). After enquiring, you will be sent screening questionnaires to see if you exhibit a sufficient amount of ADHD symptoms. We also include a questionnaire that needs to be filled out by a close family member. These screenings are usually passed on to the clinician to review and ‘ok’, but there are standardised interpretations of scores available. It is important to note that these screenings are not diagnostic and a diagnosis can only be given during an appointment with the clinician. Without returning these forms an appointment cannot be made. You are also asked to provide a GP referral if you have not already.

There is a considerable cost attached to Adult ADHD assessments. You are advised of this prior to booking an appointment. This is for a few reasons. If an individual is diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed medication, it is initially done privately and not through the NHS. This will be the case until the person is stable on their medication and then they can be referred back to their GP, but a shared care agreement between the GP, patient and consultant psychiatrist is agreed and signed as follow-ups are still required.

So, the medication itself is one cost but the more obvious costs are the appointments. Patients usually have between 2 - 3 appointments (possibly more). These appointments include the initial ADHD assessment with the consultant psychiatrist and, if diagnosed and medication prescribed, at least one follow-up to see how the medication is working. Once considered stable, patients are referred back to their GP, and medication may be prescribed by them, but a yearly follow up appointment is booked in with us. These 3 appointments (at the minimum) are essential and commitment to this (and therefore financial backing) is necessary. We do of course accept private medical insurance but the process may vary, please speak to our Practice Manager for more information.

A big benefit of having a private Adult ADHD assessment is that you will be offered a ‘bespoke’ package, enabling an in-depth assessment, by both a psychiatrist and psychologist with the addition of numerous screenings, appropriate treatment, including medication and psychological intervention, and support, mostly revolving around making life adjustments to support your progress. All of these combined can be life-changing to those struggling with ADHD.

If you are interested in booking an ADHD assessment or finding out more about our ADHD package, you can contact us here.


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