A WOMAN from Deganwy has told of her relief in obtaining an assessment for, and diagnosis of, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but her dismay at the length of time it took to achieve this.

Kelly Booker, 45, was diagnosed with ADHD last week, having told the Pioneer in August that, at that stage, she had only been offered a mental health assessment by Nant y Glyn Community Mental Health Team in Colwyn Bay.

She has also been diagnosed with various other conditions, such as anxiety and depression, and emotionally unstable personality disorder.


Deganwy woman ‘angry and upset’ in fight for an ADHD assessment

But following an experience which she labelled “ridiculous” and “shocking”, Kelly has called for better communication among the healthcare professionals responsible.

Kelly said: “The mistakes and miscommunications have been ridiculous.

“I got a diagnosis for ADHD last week, and for other the things a few weeks ago, but even my appointments were an absolute shambles.

“I went to the first mental health assessment on October 5 with a male psychiatrist, despite asking for a female one because of the fact I’d suffered domestic violence previously.

“I saw e-mails where staff had said they didn’t want to get dragged into ‘email ping-pong’ with me. From a professional point of view, I can understand it, but to read that about yourself is upsetting.”

Kelly said she aired her grievances with Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, who upheld her complaint.

Ombudsman concluded that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board should offer her an apology, and send her a self-assessment form for her to complete.

But Kelly said she does not want an apology from the health board, and would rather see it take the appropriate action so that others do not experience a similar ordeal.

She added: “The whole service has been shocking. It was 1999, when I was 21, when I first went to my GP, to talk about these issues and ask for help.

“I’m now 45 and have only just had the help that I needed, and that was because I complained, went to the Ombudsman, and fought for the last 12 months to get them to listen to what I have to say.

“There needs to be better communication between different departments within the service, so that mistakes like this aren’t made.

“I know and appreciate there’s a lot of pressure on staff at the moment, but these are people’s lives. To them it may just be another case, but we’re having to live with these conditions.

“I wanted the diagnosis so I could be given the correct medication and therapy, and so that, now that I know what’s wrong, I can research it, look for self-help, and develop dialectical behaviour therapy skills.”

In response, Teresa Owen, executive director responsible for the health board’s mental health and learning disabilities services, said: “We’re sorry that Ms Booker remains unhappy with the care provide by our Community Mental Health Team.

“We will be writing to Ms Booker to address her concerns and offer an apology for those occasions where our communication and service could have been better. 

“While we cannot comment in detail about the care provided to individual patients, it is important to note that we follow National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for ADHD assessments, but we will look to learn from Ms Booker’s experience.”