Co-chair of ADHD taskforce

NHS announces co-chairs of ADHD taskforce

NHS England (NHSE) has announced that the co-chairs for its new ADHD Taskforce will be Cardiff University’s Professor Anita Thapar and Joanna Killian, from the Local Government Association.

The idea of the taskforce is to bring together experts from the healthcare, government, education, charity, and justice sectors to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by those with ADHD.

Anita is a child and adolescent psychologist as well as a clinical scientist in south Wales. Anita co-chairs the Welsh Government Nuerodivergence Ministerial Advisory Group, is a part of the Welsh Government Clinical Advisory Group for ADHD assessment and support, and is a board member at the ADHD Foundation.

She said: “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.”

Joanna joins while CEO at the Local Government Association, after previous experience as chair at the homelessness charity, St Mungo’s, and over three decades of experience in the public sector, including CEO roles at Surrey and Essex county councils.

She said: “I am delighted to be asked to co-chair the taskforce. ADHD is a condition that affects people’s day-to-day lives in many different ways and there is increasing demand for support and information.

“Councils provide a range of care to children and adults with ADHD, working with local housing, health, education and voluntary sector partners.

“The taskforce is an important opportunity for national partners to work together to ensure services meet the needs of people of all ages with ADHD in the future.”

NHSE says the members will be appointed in due course and the taskforce will report this year. It also says that it will continue to work with stakeholders to:

  • Develop a national ADHD data improvement plan
  • Work to understand the provider and commissioner landscape
  • Capture examples of innovative ways of delivering ADHD services and share them

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

He added: “We have recognised that more needs to be done to ensure people can get a timely diagnosis and, importantly, that all needs are addressed.

“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.”

Image credit: iStock

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NHE May/June 2024

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