National shortage of ADHD medication

The below message has been sent to Rotherham Head Teachers and SENCO’s on behalf of Rotherham ICB.

Dear Head teacher and SENDCO

Re. NATIONAL SHORTAGE OF ADHD MEDICATION

As you may have heard in the press, there is currently a supply problem with a range of widely prescribed ADHD medication. This is a national issue that reflects increased global demand for these drugs together with some production difficulties. This is likely to continue until the end of the year but may carry on for longer.

This means that children and young people with ADHD may run out of their normal medication. The ADHD post diagnostic team in Rotherham (which is part of CAMHS) is providing advice and support and working with GPs and the Integrated Care Board to identify suitable alternatives wherever possible – but this may not be possible for all children or it may take time for the child or young person to adjust to their new medication.

We would like to ask for your support in minimising the impact for these children and young people. Many of them rely on medication to manage their symptoms and will struggle to cope in school without it unless additional support / reasonable adjustments are made. We want to ensure that no child or young person ends up being penalised for a situation that is entirely outside of their control, either through lost learning or behavioural sanctions.

Here is what you can do to help:

  • Be proactive: make sure you are aware of which children have an ADHD diagnosis and that you stay in communication with them and their families about this issue – so you know whether they are still able to access medication
  • Work in partnership with the young person and their family: for many young people and parents, this will be an anxious time. They may feel really worried about the implications for both school and home life. Initiating a discussion will help to reassure them and enable you to understand what additional support or flexibilities may be needed.
  •  Make sure all the relevant staff are in the loop: good communication between the staff who work with individual students affected will reduce the risk of avoidable disengagement and behaviour incidents.

Many thanks for your attention and support. We will keep you updated on the situation.

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