§ Mr. Bill O'Brien
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on progress with support and treatment for people suffering with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 
§ Jacqui Smith
In recent years the Department has encouraged a number of initiatives taken by professional bodies and voluntary groups to raise awareness of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and to facilitate accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. We currently support, including provision of grant aid, the work of the "contact a family ADHD alliance" project.
In guidance on the use of the drug methylphenidate in the treatment of ADHD in children, published in October 2000 by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), it was made clear that a diagnosis of ADHD should be based on a timely, comprehensive assessment conducted by a child/adolescent psychiatrist or a paediatrician with expertise in this disorder. Referrals for specialist assessment can come from a number of sources including family members, general practitioners, social workers and teachers. NICE also recommended that drug treatment with methylphenidate, where appropriate, should be seen as part of a comprehensive treatment programme, which includes psychological, educational and social interventions, for children with a diagnosis of severe ADHD.