Panorama: Public ADHD Clinics Exposed
Tonight‘s edition of Panorama entitled ‘Panorama: Private Clinics, Exposed, claims to seek to identify and expose private ADHD clinics or clinicians that it feels are inappropriately diagnosing ADHD.
Whilst it is important that robust checks and appropriate regulation is maintained for clinics or clinicians who offer ADHD assessments, the approach that Panorama have taken has already caused damage to our community. We have received many messages from people who are scared.
By sending an undercover reporter to a clinic, claiming they have ADHD in order to falsely get a private diagnosis, this does not solely expose the potential for inappropriate diagnosis, but it also adds to the public myth and stigma that it is ‘easy to get a diagnosis of ADHD’. Our community already faces significant societal and internal stigma, and this program will not improve this.
The NHS, which is under incredible pressure for resources, does not currently have the resources to meet the demand for ADHD diagnosis. in some areas of the UK, where right to choose does not exist, desperate people have to make the decision ‘do I go private?’ As for some, waiting for five years for an assessment is not just unacceptable, it is unbearable.
The damage that this program is already doing to these people, to people who already have a private diagnosis, and to the ADHD community, in general, is very real. We already have an unreasonable expectation to justify and prove the psychiatric diagnosis to even qualify for a shared care agreement and this adds unnecessary fuel to the outdated idea that an ADHD diagnosis is easy to get.
We believe the BBC have broken the editorial guidelines, including a guideline that states to always consider the needs of vulnerable groups. (Section 1:The BBC’s Editorial Standards, 1.2: Our editorial values states “In exercising freedom of expression, we must offer appropriate protection to vulnerable groups and avoid causing unjustifiable offence“).
As a community, we have had to endure, seemingly endless negative press, poor, journalistic standards, and opinions delivered through journalistic platforms that diminish us from our experience and increase the likelihood of people’s mental health deteriorating.
We will be complaining to the BBC about the approach they used and the editorial tone of this programme. We are collating anonymous responses to the programme from our community so that we can present this to the BBC. If you would like to add to this you can do so here.