My research focus is on equitable access to mental health and social care for people with mental health difficulties, with an emphasis on neurodevelopmental disorders. I am experienced in using mixed methodologies to understand and find solutions to structural needs within the existing health and care system.
Award Title: Mental Health Fellowship
Start Date: 1st December 2021
End Date: 31st March 2024
Location of Research: South West Peninsula
UKAAN, ADHD Foundation, CRN South West Peninsula, Devon Partnership Trust
Other associated academic organisations:
Project Title: Managing young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in primary care (MAP) study: mapping current practice and co-producing guidance on pathways to improve healthcare for an underserved population
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorder. It affects around 5% of children and adolescents, and up to 40% continue to experience symptoms into adulthood. Primary care practitioners (e.g., general practitioners (GPs), nurses, link workers, clinical pharmacists) play an important role in the healthcare of young people with ADHD, particularly due to long waiting times in adult mental health services, and patchy provision of specialist services. However, many practitioners feel unsure about how to support young people at this vulnerable stage in their lives. They report concerns about prescribing ADHD medication and a desire for more guidance. Currently, little is known about how young people with ADHD are supported in primary care, the strengths and weakness of existing care pathways, and how care can be improved.
To map current service provision and co-create evidence-based guidance to improve and better co-ordinate primary care for young people (aged 16-25 years) with ADHD.
This research has been developed in response to identified gaps in services and requests from people with ADHD. The team includes young people with ADHD whose input will help ensure the research is sensitive and relevant, and an academic GP to ensure identified solutions are deliverable within primary care settings.
Phase 1: A national survey of primary care practitioners, and organisations providing and funding ADHD services, to map current care pathways, learn about practitioner roles and prescribing practices, and identify underserved areas.
Phase 2: Interviews with 10-15 young people with ADHD exploring their experiences, information needs, and expectations of primary care management of ADHD. Focus groups with 10-15 practitioners and linked organisations, to consider the information they need in their roles managing ADHD in young people, and the information and support they need to provide care.
Phase 3: Building on findings from phases 1 and 2, workshops with practitioners, linked organisations, and young people with ADHD, will co-produce key messages for improving primary care support. Workshops with key stakeholders will develop guidance to improve provision and identify any barriers to implementation.
This research aims to address challenges faced by those living with mental health problems by:
Increasing the chances of young people receiving treatment at a crucial stage in their lives, through providing evidence to improve the co-ordination and delivery of healthcare
Targeting a population with long-term health and self-management needs, who face transition from child to adult services at the same time as multiple social, education/work, and family changes.
This research aims to support underserved communities by:
Increasing capacity in mental health research in the South West Peninsula
Improving healthcare provision nationally for young people with ADHD
Providing evidence-based guidance on how to address barriers to equitable access to care for different groups