Adult ADHD Public Service Provision

The HSE’s National Clinical Programme developed a Model of Care for Ireland for Adults with ADHD in January 2021 and recommends an evidence based, practical and integrated response for Adults who may have ADHD.

It might be helpful to explain that the primary reason a Clinical Programme for adults with ADHD was developed by the HSE is because of the lack of services.

Public Services available now

Specific Adult ADHD Clinics currently available to adults living in the following Community Health Organisation (CHO) areas:

  • Donegal/Sligo/Leitrim - CHO 1
  • Limerick/Clare/North Tipperary - CHO 3
  • North, South and East Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin South East - CHO 6.

See Dr. Aiveen Kirley, Consultant Psychiatrist Adult ADHD Service CHO6 outlines services provided for adults with ADHD.

Access to assessment and treatment is by GP referral to your local Community Adult Mental Health Team (CAMHT) for initial screening.

Adult ADHD Clinical Pathway

Adult ADHD Clinical Pathway diagram

HSE Public Services funded and in development 2022 

The 2022 Estimates process provided funding for a further 4 Adult ADHD teams. These new teams will be operational in 2023, and will cover:

  • Cork - covering North Lee, South Lee and North Cork - CHO4
  • Kerry – covering Kerry and West Cork - CHO4
  • Dublin South City, Dublin South West and Dublin West - CHO7
  • Midland counties- Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath as well as Kildare West Wicklow - CHO8.

Access to the service is outlined in the national Model of Care which includes the clinical pathway. If a GP refers a patient they are first seen by their local Community Adult Mental Health Team (CAMHT) where they are assessed for co-morbid mental illnesses and screened using the ASRS and WURS ADHD specific scales and where screening positive on both, patients are referred by the CAMHT on to the Adult ADHD Clinic.

See Dr. Larkin Feeney, General Adult Psychiatrist, Community Adult Mental Health Team discusses the development of Adult ADHD Services.

If you screen positive for possible ADHD you will be referred to the Adult ADHD clinic in that area.


Further development of services

The funding received to date for the Programme covers the HSE areas outlined above. Further development of the Programme depends on increased funding for the ADHD in Adults National Clinical Programme. Additional teams are requested by the HSE through the estimates process each year.

If you do not live in the counties listed above it can be difficult to get advice or help. It is suggested that you ask your GP for a referral to your CAMHT, this is based on your address. The mental health services have been advised to refer to NICE guidelines 2018, 2019 for the assessment and management of adolescents and adults with ADHD for guidance.

The national Model of Care sets out the type of treatment needed for adults with ADHD and the specific services required to provide those services. Additional information is available on the HSEs ADHD in Adults webpage HERE.

The implementation of the Model of Care supports service provision for 3 groups of Adults:

  • Those diagnosed with ADHD as children with syndromal ADHD persisting into adulthood (18yrs or older)
  • The parents of these young people, of whom 25% may have ADHD as there is a strong familial genetic link
  • Adults of all ages in whom ADHD was not recognised in childhood. This is most likely to occur in girls in whom the most prominent core symptom is likely to be inattention and so easily missed with the child being described as ‘dreamy’.