ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder. It’s treatable, and early intervention significantly reduces the chance of the condition affecting people’s personal, academic and home life, and reduces the risk of mental health problems.
In the UK, there is an average of 18 months between referral and formal diagnosis. To try to improve this, East Midlands Academic Health Science Network worked with medical technology company Qbtech Ltd to introduce QbTest within the ADHD service at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust among several other services nationwide.
The computer-based QbTest combines attention measurements with an activity analysis based on a motion tracking system. The results indicate whether someone has ADHD.
Dr Julie Clarke, Consultant Paediatrician at ULHT and clinical lead for the project, said: “This innovative project has allowed me to redesign the ADHD pathway for six to 16 year olds in the county, using the QbTest at the beginning of their journey. Patients are now being diagnosed sooner than they would have been with traditional testing and the time to diagnosis across Lincolnshire has reduced by an average of 117 days. This is a great achievement and will make such a difference to our patients.”
“These improvements to the pathway have also identified a saving of around 32.6% across the region due to patients being diagnosed sooner. This redesigned pathway is now being rolled out to other NHS Trusts across the county, which will in time save the NHS millions of pounds.”
Following the success of the project, ULHT have announced that they will continue to fund the provision of the QbTest for young patients and their families.
The HSJ Awards, held in London towards the end of last year, are the largest and most prestigious healthcare awards in the world with around 1,700 healthcare professionals in attendance. Out of 1,400 original entries and three rigorous judging rounds, the project was one of only 26 winners in total.
A local partnership project, Lincolnshire Carers Service Widening the Reach, which supports carers across the county’s hospitals, were also given a nod of appreciation after being shortlisted in the System Led Support for Carers Award category.