A new clinic has been set up in Newcastle, New South Wales (NSW), Australia, to provide increased support for children aged six to 12 years with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The clinic aims to offer timely diagnosis and treatment for ADHD, which affects around one in 20 children in the state.
This initiative is expected to alleviate the general paediatric waitlist and offer specialised care for patients.
It follows a shared-care model, allowing ongoing management between a paediatrician and the patient’s regular general practitioner (GP) and reducing the need for patients to travel to hospitals for follow-up care.
In addition to providing in-person services in Newcastle, the clinic will support rural and regional patients through virtual services.
The multidisciplinary team at the clinic includes paediatricians, a psychologist, a clinical nurse consultant, pharmacist, an Aboriginal health worker, a shared care coordinator, and administration staff.
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This initiative is said to be the result of an A$7.7m ($4.88m) investment over four years from the NSW government. The plan is to run the clinic as a pilot project for the next two years.
Hunter New England local health district executive director for children, young people and families Dr Paul Craven said: “We work with the patient, their family and support networks, as well as a team of clinicians to provide individualised assessment and diagnosis before aiming to share care with the family GP and local specialist.
“It allows patients to stay closer to home for their follow-up care, which is particularly important for our regional and rural patients and will allow families to continue building strong relationships with their existing GPs.
“As the service grows, we’ll also look to provide outreach clinics to areas where there is the greatest need and will continue to leverage our growing telehealth and virtual care offerings when appropriate.”