NHS Borders has accused Roxburgh, Ettrick and Berwickshire MSP John Lamont of having little understanding of ADHD or its treatment.
Mr Lamont raised concerns in the press about the increased use of Attentions Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder drugs in the Borders. He made his comments in repsonse to recently published figures that showed NHS Borders had spent £218,000 last year, handing out 5,500 items for ADHD.
NHS Borders, however, say he should have raised the matter with themselves first in order to get a clearer idea of the situation.
A statement relased by NHS Borders says: “NHS Borders is disappointed that Mr Lamont did not raise his concerns with us around the published ADHD figures. His comments display little understanding of the condition or its treatment and what the figures represent.
“In fact, national reviews of ADHD treatment across Scotland identify Borders Health Board as providing one of the best services for children and young people with ADHD.
“NHS Borders Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service was recognised as providing one of the best ADHD services in Scotland in 2008 with diagnosis rates of around 1%. In a follow up review in 2012, recommendations were made to each board about improving their services and diagnosis rates and NHS Borders again compared very favourably nationally. The high referral, diagnosis and treatment rates are a result of good practice to ensure an accessible and effective service.
Dr Sarah Glen, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, said: “ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed neuro-developmental disorders in children and young people. Without treatment, these children are more likely to suffer from low self esteem, they tend to perform poorly at school and may not be able to develop healthy relationships with their family and friends.
“Being held back by all these problems at such a young age gives them disadvantages in life often leading to antisocial behaviour and even a greater risk of later substance misuse.
“The drug therapy is very effective and has a large evidence base to support its use. However, the children and young people referred to us receive a range of treatments and support for them and their families as well as any drug treatments.
“We work very hard with patients and their families to ensure they get the best treatment possible. Drug therapies are not seen as a solution in themselves, but as an important tool in helping these children to deal with their condition and give them the best start in life.”