We believe that the ADHD assessment is one of the most comprehensive consultations in mental health. Before your appointment, we will ask you to complete a pre-assessment questionnaire. We use questions to get a better understanding of you and your difficulties.
Compared to typical psychiatric evaluations, the ADHD assessment interview demands a substantial investment of time, typically extending up to 2.5 hours. ADHD is intricately linked with brain development, and our goal is to comprehend your unique journey from childhood to the present day.
To achieve the best outcomes, we commit to going beyond the typical symptoms of ADHD, understanding the psychological factors and where needed symptoms of associated conditions. At the end of your appointment, you will receive an answer to your long-awaited questions, and most importantly a plan moving forward.
Once the assessment is complete, Dr. Ivantu will create a comprehensive report. This helps to ensure that you have valid evidence of your diagnosis and a well-crafted treatment plan. For each private ADHD assessment, we dedicate up to 4 hours to:
Diagnosing ADHD involves a comprehensive clinical assessment, combining questionnaires and evidence-based methods.
Dr. Stefan Ivantu uses the DIVA-5 diagnostic tool during his ADHD assessment. This is a structured interview tool which helps to ensure all significant symptoms and signs are evaluated. This is especially helpful in the assessment of adult ADHD, as childhood symptoms may have been forgotten or assumed to be normal. By using the DIVA-5 tool, Dr. Ivantu can make the most accurate possible diagnosis using the DSM-5 criteria for ADHD.
Questionnaires such as the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) or BAARS-IV, collect information from various sources. Your loved ones, parents, teachers, and the affected individuals help to gauge symptom severity across settings. Behavioural observations in different environments further inform the diagnosis.
Rule-outs for other conditions are essential. Evidence-based tools, and mental state examination provide a deeper understanding of the symptom. The assessment looks at developmental and medical history. It uses this information to evaluate the impact and severity of ADHD symptoms in different settings of your life.
Collaboration between the psychiatrist, GP, specialists, and therapists can be key to the process. By working together, we ensure an accurate diagnosis and appropriate support. Sometimes you may wish your case to remain totally confidential and we can consider your choice.
You might be wondering how the Adult ADHD assessment experience might be different to childhood diagnosis. This distinction is crucial when compared to the childhood assessment. The symptoms in the adult life can be quite different, and sometimes masked by symptoms of anxiety, depression or staying silent.
Compared to the assessment during childhood, adult assessments need a more in-depth approach. This is understandable, since an adult has more history to present. Our assessment process takes into account the unique challenges faced by adults in the present, but also in the future.
We understand beyond the core inattentive and hyperactive symptoms but also the various ways in which they may impact your daily life, work, relationships, and well-being.
The medical secretary will closely guide you through the process, so you don’t have to worry. We will be sending you the pre-assessment questionnaire that you and your loved ones have to complete and all the other requirements to establish communication with your GP.
Throughout the journey, with your consent, we will need to communicate with your GP, to obtain your medical history, inform you about any treatment changes, or order investigations if needed. We understand that, in some situations, you may want your assessment to remain totally private.
It is highly important to have a comfortable and private space during your private ADHD assessment which is conducted via a high-quality video link. Using a device preferably an iMac, PC, laptop, or tablet with a reliable internet connection. We do not recommend using a mobile phone, due to its limitations and associated distractions.
Screening tools help to quickly identify individuals who may exhibit ADHD symptoms. These can be used by both patients and by the private assessing psychiatrist.
We are using the following tools:
These tests provide an initial assessment of symptoms, and they are only a small part of the diagnosis.
Diagnostic tools are more comprehensive and aim to confirm or rule out ADHD. These involve clinical interviews by healthcare professionals to consider the DSM-5 criteria for ADHD.
A diagnosis requires a thorough evaluation, considering:
These diagnostic tools help ensure accurate and evidence-based diagnosis and guide appropriate treatment. A holistic treatment approach involves a combination of therapy, lifestyle changes and coaching for managing ADHD symptoms.
Once the diagnosis and an effective treatment plan are in place, we support our patients through a shared care agreement. We do not impose any additional fees for this collaborative care with your GP. This helps to ensure that your journey towards managing ADHD is as smooth as possible.
Dr. Ivantu's expertise allows us to address the complexities of adult ADHD. We can provide a tailored and effective assessment process that caters to your unique needs. Your journey to understanding and managing ADHD as an adult begins here.
Before you decide to get an ADHD assessment, it's helpful to know what the possible outcomes might be:
The purpose of the assessment is to help you understand if you suffer from ADHD, or if your symptoms may be explained by something else or a combination of both. The end goal is for you to experience an improvement in your quality of life and well-being.
There are several different types of ADHD seen in adults, which present in different ways and vary in prevalence according to gender. Here are the major types:
The presentation of inattentive ADHD is dominated by the symptoms of inattention such as: making careless mistakes, daydreaming, not paying attention to tasks, losing things, staying quiet or appearing shy or forgetful. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that inattentive ADHD is present in 20-30% of cases. In our practice, we are seeing an increased number of presentations in particular in women.
The symptoms can be masked by underlying anxiety, and depression and can go under the radar for many years. Because the symptoms are more subtle, the condition is mostly diagnosed later in life.
This is the most common type of ADHD and is described by the presence of both inattentive and hyperactive symptoms. The combined variant is seen in women and men. The NICE Insitute indicates this variant is prevalent in approximately 50 - 75% of the cases.
Depending on your stage in life, combined ADHD can be diagnosed at any time. For adults, the most disturbing are the inattentive symptoms. These are usually having an impact in relationships, performance at work or different settings.
The hyperactive-impulsive type is the easiest to diagnose and is also the least common. Research studies indicate this is present in up to 15% of the cases. Since the symptoms are obvious these can be seen by others. Therefore, there should be a higher chance for this type to be diagnosed earlier in life, or in the school environment.
Some studies suggest this type is mostly seen in men; however, this doesn't mean it cannot be seen in women.
In situations where the patient has both ADHD and an associated condition, the specialist may recommend treating the ADHD first. However, in some cases, addressing the underlying conditions takes priority. If this situation occurs, the psychiatrist's role is to help you at every step.
Some of the more common associated conditions:
At the end of your appointment, we can comfortably communicate the diagnosis outcome. The most important is for us to help you with a holistic plan, where you achieve your goals, and have a better quality of life. We are also available to answer any of your questions or write a brief support letter for the school or university.
After your assessment, you will receive a comprehensive report in less than 5 working days, and with your consent, we can share the document with your general practitioner or other professionals.
We understand that considering treatment for ADHD, or any other mental health condition can be anxiety-provoking. In some cases, you may prefer to have more time to think about or prefer a medication-free approach. Our private psychiatrist, Dr Stefan Ivantu will still be able to support you.
If pharmaceutical treatment is something you consider, and this is clinically indicated and safe, this can be made available to you within 3 working days. The cost of private medication is paid separately at one of the London-based Pharmacies.
Medication is a personal choice; our duty is to support you with all the information and empower you to make the right decision. Sometimes, you may need more time, or we may recommend additional tests. We prescribe ADHD medication only when this is appropriate and with your consent.
Some people prefer to manage their symptoms holistically, and after diagnosis request a multifaceted approach.
Regardless of your decision, we can support you after the assessment. We offer alternative options to manage symptoms holistically including lifestyle changes, nutrition, coaching or therapy.
Coaching can provide quick results depending on your circumstances. In research, this intervention received generally good results, although the current evidence-based remains limited. Coaching is a distinct resource, depending on someone’s goals and resources.
Lifestyle changes in ADHD, such as sleep hygiene adapted for patients suffering from a neurodevelopmental condition. Managing the work-life balance, to-do lists and routines may lead to a more pleasant experience.
Technology is often stigmatised in mental health. However, with a positive approach, this can lead to a more productive, and less stressful life whilst being in control.
Exercise, spending time in nature, nutrition, and sleep hygiene are essential when considering a holistic approach to ADHD. Physical exercise indicates the potential benefit of improving inattentive and hyperactive symptoms.
When medication for ADHD is prescribed by a specialist, this does not cause addiction. Studies indicate when this is used appropriately, the risk of developing an addiction diminishes. Studies also indicate that the longer someone takes ADHD medication, the lower the risk of developing substance abuse by up to 30%.
However, people taking medication for ADHD, may report they cannot function well without it. This shouldn't be misunderstood as an addiction, and rather similar to someone having eyesight problems and not being able to read without prescription glasses.
We perfectly understand some would like to pursue an entirely holistic approach, and we are here to help you.
Mental health is different from one person to another, it is often multifactorial and sometimes complex. Everyone has their circumstances and set of goals. This makes it difficult to predict the number of sessions and associated total costs.
In summary, after the ADHD assessment, it takes on average 4 sessions until an effective and safe treatment plan is in place. The frequency of the follow-up sessions is usually between 2-4 weeks, depending on your goals and response to treatment.
Where clinically indicated, our patients have the option to have an in-person follow-up appointment and meet their private consultant psychiatrist. The in-person follow-up sessions take place weekly at our office at 10 Harley Street, London.
ADHD Specialist is a private service registered with the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of health and social care in England. Our ADHD assessment process passed rigorous tests and was improved on the good foundation of the NHS.
We are periodically conducting audits, requesting feedback to maintain our assessment quality and improve our service. We take a step further in our clinic and at all times maintain a manageable number of clients.
Our Consultant, Dr Stefan Ivantu, completed his psychiatrist specialist training in Oxford, UK. For 3 years, Dr Ivantu undertook special interest training in diagnosing and treating ADHD. He has past experience in establishing an Adult NHS ADHD service.
Dr Stefan Ivantu is a Consultant Psychiatrist with a Certificate of Completion of Training and passed all the examinations to become a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
In our clinic, the private psychiatrist offers ongoing support following diagnosis. This can include follow-ups such as: therapy sessions, medication when requested and appropriate, or holistic support.
Having continuity of care helps in monitoring symptoms, and progress and making adjustments depending on the situation or life’s events. Recent studies indicate that people suffering from ADHD are at a higher risk of experiencing symptoms of associated conditions such as depression, binge eating, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, autism or addiction.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not a condition where someone takes a stimulant, and the condition suddenly becomes cured. Some studies indicate this population is at a higher risk of developing serious mental health issues.
Given the variety of associated conditions with ADHD, it can be beneficial to have a psychiatrist managing your situation.
The symptoms of ADHD may tend to change with time, therefore having a private psychiatrist can be helpful. This becomes even more important when it comes to overcoming stressful life events, such as managing relationships or work performance.
Recent studies indicate that people suffering from ADHD, regardless of using stimulants or not may be at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular conditions. Whilst some recent studies indicate there can be a correlation between the use of ADHD medication and the risk of developing high blood pressure, or other heart conditions.
The psychiatrist, being a medically trained doctor, can support the seamless coordination of health services over time including liaising with your GP, Cardiologist or other specialists.
Ongoing monitoring, adjustments to the holistic plan, and therapy sessions are highly important in overcoming stressful situations. Having a preventative approach can eliminate or minimise later problems.
The private ADHD assessment conducted by a consultant psychiatrist provides several significant benefits:
Quality: Private healthcare allows for a more in-depth, personalised approach to diagnosis and treatment. The private psychiatrist has more time to devote to each patient, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation and a tailored treatment plan that addresses the specific needs of the individual.
Flexibility: Having a private ADHD assessment also offers greater flexibility. Appointments can often be scheduled more quickly, and at times that are more convenient for the patient. This can be particularly beneficial for adults who are juggling multiple commitments, such as work, business, school, or family responsibilities.
Expertise: According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists "The consultant psychiatrist understands the issues, handles complex information, and formulates management of the relative effectiveness and side-effects of medication and therapy." " Particularly in the modern age of information overload, and of information available on the internet which may be partial or open to misinterpretation, the role of the consultant psychiatrist as a clinical scientist able to critically assess and apply the best treatment strategies – and, just as importantly, to communicate these to patients – is vital.."
Continuity of care: In the appropriate setting a private ADHD assessment can provide a higher level of continuity of care. Your private psychiatrist typically handles the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment planning, and follow-up care, ensuring consistency and a deep understanding of your needs and progress. Therefore, it is more likely for you to be understood and work with the same psychiatrist for years to come.
Options: Opting for a private ADHD assessment with a psychiatrist, opens the door for a wide variety of treatment options to choose from. These are often not accessible to the NHS, such as coaching, lifestyle changes, personalised therapy, computerised tests, or diet changes. At your request, we can offer genetic testing to see what treatment options may be more suitable for your genetic profile.
Cost: Private mental health care can be expensive. We are transparent with the service fees, so you know exactly what to expect. All our fees are available to check here. Additionally, we are accepting some of the private health insurance providers. Please be aware some providers may not cover entirely the treatment for ADHD.
Fear of medication: Some people are fearful of being pushed to take medication. Besides this, they are worried about side effects or stigma associated with it. One common question is if the ADHD medication is addictive, or if this can change someone’s personality. In our clinic, we understand your concerns or that you may not want to consider anything which is not made by nature.
Shared care: Some of the GPs may not be willing to enter into a shared care agreement with a private provider. In our specialist clinic, we maintain the GMC, CQC and RCPsych registration, membership and standards. The majority of our patients stable on medication have in place a shared care agreement.
Less regulation: Our clinic underwent a rigorous CQC registration process and follows set ADHD assessment guidelines and treatment. As an organisation, we follow the government recommendations when it comes to medicines and healthcare products safety recommendations MHRA.
Trust: Some people may not trust private healthcare due to various reasons. At our clinic, we value our patients' trust above all else. Our patients are the heart of everything we do. We value our patients, and we are always thankful to them. Without our patient's trust, we couldn’t be in the privileged position to provide personalised care.
ADHD is a lifelong condition, but it doesn't have to be an obstacle. With effective holistic support, you can grow and live a fulfilling life. At the heart of our practice is the passion for our patients to live well and achieve their goals.
Your privacy is paramount, and we ensure the utmost discretion and confidentiality throughout your assessment.
Finding a trusted private psychiatrist who you can connect with on a personal level, can be a transformative experience in your journey.
Our Adult ADHD Assessment fee is £1450, we are accepting self-funded patients or covered by one of the private medical insurance providers we are working with.
If you have private medical insurance with WPA, Bupa Global, Aviva or Allianz Care it is recommended to contact the provider before booking your assessment.
For a complete overview of our fees, including follow-up consultations, please visit our fees and services page.
It is preferable to have a GP referral, since this helps our Consultant Psychiatrist to further understand your case. This is useful to establish a relationship, where your GP is more likely to take on shared care in the future.
We understand, there are situations where you don’t have a referral, or you want your case to remain with your specialist.
We may still be able to help, to discuss your case please contact us.