Health board hits out at MSP’s ignorance

NHS Borders has defended its treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) after criticism from John Lamont MSP.

Mr Lamont called on doctors to re-examine the prescribing of medication for ADHD after statistics showed more was distributed by NHS Borders per head than any other Scottish health board in 2012/13.

The measurement of 17.2 doses per 1,000 population is significantly higher than the Scottish average of 6.7, and has almost doubled since 2008/9.

Mr Lamont said “parking” youngsters on medication gave them “no hope of a full recovery”.

However, an NHS Borders spokeswoman told The Southern that they were disappointed the MSP had not raised his concerns with them, adding: “His comments display little understanding of the condition or its treatment and what the figures represent.”

Dr Sarah Glen, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, said ADHD treatment in the area had been identified as among the best is Scotland, with high treatment rates a result of good practice.

“Without treatment, these children are more likely to suffer from low self esteem, they tend to perform poorly at school and may not be able to develop healthy relationships with their family and friends,” she said.

“The drug therapy is very effective and has a large evidence base to support its use. However, the children and young people referred to us receive a range of treatments and support for them and their families as well as any drug treatments.”