Medication for ADHD can include amphetamines and stimulants. These medications have a higher risk of severe side effects and long term risks and some are controlled drugs by law. For this reason they are usually initiated and prescribed by specialists.
In some cases GPs can take over prescribing under a Shared Care Agreement (SCA) which is convenient for the patient. Unfortunately in Lothian this SCA is not funded or resourced by the Healthboard or Scottish Government and GPs are not given any additional training in prescribing these medications. As per the GMC (General Medical Council), the responsibility for errors or adverse consequences with medication lies with the prescriber, irrespective of any SCA. Due to the of lack of resourcing and expertise, our practice has decided not to sign up to the SCAs for ADHD and prescriptions and monitoring will have to continue to be provided by the specialist. We understand this will be frustrating for some patients however we feel that prescribing safety and core GP services must be prioritised over convenience.
If you feel strongly that GPs are in an ideal position to provide these services then please contact your MSP and ask that primary care is adequately funded and trained to relieve pressure from hospital clinics.