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Frequently Asked Questions

Taking the first steps to understanding why you feel different, unhappy, or are struggling takes courage. We’re here to help you make sure you find the support that’s right for you.

ADHD - Children

Will my child's diagnosis be accepted by the NHS/school?

Our assessments fully comply with NICE guidelines, and we use the highest quality and well-regarded clinical model within our service. Importantly, your child will be seen by a doctor (paediatrician or psychiatrist) as part of the assessment, which isn't always the case with private assessments. We are also a trusted NHS provider and often support different NHS Trusts and ICBs with waiting lists. This means a diagnosis made by our service should be accepted the NHS and schools/colleges.

Who will carry out the assessment?

The diagnostic assessment is carried out by either a paediatrician or child and adolescent psychiatrist, who are experts in identifying ADHD in children and young people.

Where will my child be seen?

Our clinic is in the heart of Canterbury in Kent. We've designed the children’s service to be comfortable, calming and fun and we often receive feedback from families that their children had such a nice time they want to come back. There are more details about our clinic and how to find us here

What will happen in the assessment?

During the assessment, your clinician will ask you and your child some questions about their strengths, needs, likes, and dislikes as well as their development, including information around key early years milestones. Throughout the appointment, your clinician will also be discreetly observing your child’s mannerisms and behaviours. They will bring together all the information gathered (during the screening and questionnaire stages and the clinical interview) and assess this against the DSM-5 criteria, to determine if a diagnosis is clinically appropriate or not. The outcome will be presented to you, along with recommendations on further support and/or treatment for your child, immediately after the assessment is complete.

What post-diagnostic support can my child access?

Psicon can offer medical and non-medical support to children and young people diagnosed with ADHD. For non-medical support, we can offer sessions with a clinical psychologist who will be able to advise on a behavioural approach to managing their difficulties. We can prescribe medication and support for a year or more following diagnosis, to ensure the condition is safely and effectively managed.

What is involved in the medical treatment of ADHD?

We can provide treatment for ADHD in the form of medication for children who have been diagnosed and are deemed suitable for treatment. If you choose to opt for medication to treat your child’s symptoms, a specialist prescriber will assess their suitability for treatment, carry out some routine tests and if appropriate, initiate a treatment plan for your child. After the first prescription, your child will need to attend regular reviews with your prescriber. ‍They will monitor the efficacy of the medication and any side effects your child might have. When you, your child and their clinician feel that the treatment is working and a stable dose has been reached, we will make a referral to your local NHS ADHD service or GP, who will take over the management of the prescriptions and routine monitoring.

What if the assessing clinicians don't see what I see (masking)?

Having assessed thousands of children for ADHD, we are used to seeing it present in many different ways. Our assessments are designed to take masking and camouflaging into account – especially with girls. Our team are very well trained in understanding this area and our assessment includes information gathered from both home and school, as well as data captured from what’s called a QB check. A QB check is an online test created by experts in the field to objectively compare the reactions of your child against key ADHD symptoms, the results of which are compiled in a report which is used by the clinician to inform the diagnostic assessment.

What happens if my child is too anxious in the assessment?

Our team are very experienced in working with young people and understand that an assessment is often a stressful experience for all the family. We will do our very best to put your child (and the whole family) at ease and are very skilled at engaging even the most shy and anxious children. In the worst case, if a child cannot engage in the session, we will either work with what they are able to do or offer another appointment.

What happens if my child is not diagnosed?

If your child does not receive a diagnosis, this does not mean there isn't a problem. ADHD can present like many other conditions and part of the assessment is ensuring that we can evidence that the traits we see are neurodevelopmental. A child’s experiences can influence how they operate and sometimes this can look like ADHD. It is important to establish the cause of the difficulties so that the best support and understanding can be offered. If a child’s presentation is better understood by behavioural or psychological factors, the approach would be very different than if they have ADHD.

My child's school doesn't have any concerns; how will this affect the assessment?

We always take the school’s observations into account, as this is an integral part of the assessment. To diagnose ADHD, it must be clear in multiple environments. As school is very structured, it is often a great place to be able to see it. However, if school does not report any observations of ADHD traits, it does not mean there will be no diagnosis, as there can be other reasons for this. Not all children present with clearly with ‘classic’ observable signs of ADHD – particularly females. Children with ADHD can concentrate extremely well if they are working on a task that is exciting or interests them and not all children show their hyperactivity by moving and fidgeting. Just as it’s true that not all children who fidget and are distractable have ADHD. It’s our job to look deeper and see what might be expected and what might be ADHD.

How long is the waiting list?

This often depends upon how quickly parents and school can return the pre-assessment, but once we've received all questionnaires, we aim to provide an assessment appointment within four to six weeks.

Does ADHD look different in girls?

While the assessment process and diagnostic criteria are the same across the gender spectrum, it is true that ADHD in girls can present very differently to boys. The criteria on which a diagnosis is made is largely known to be associated with symptoms in and this can mean that girls who have ADHD may go undiagnosed. Boys often present their symptoms in a more obvious or ‘stereotypical’ way, for example they may present with more challenging behaviours, be more physically hyperactive or boisterous. Whereas females may have more subtle traits such as being easily distracted, having a tendency to daydream, being disorganised and forgetful. Having assessed thousands of children for ADHD, we are used to seeing it present in many different ways. Our team are very well trained in understanding the female presentation of ADHD and are fully aware that traits and symptoms can be trickier to see in girls.

ADHD - Adults

Who will carry out the assessment?

The diagnostic assessment is carried out by either clinical psychologist or psychiatrist who are experts in identifying ADHD in people aged 18 and over.

Will a private diagnosis be accepted by the NHS?

Our assessments fully comply with NICE guidelines, and we use the highest quality and well-regarded clinical model within our service. We are also a trusted NHS provider and often support different NHS Trusts and ICBs with waiting lists. This means a diagnosis made by our service will be accepted by the NHS.

Where will I be seen?

Our clinic is in the heart of Canterbury in Kent and is designed to be as comfortable, calming and friendly as possible. There are more details about it, and how to find us, here.

What will happen in the assessment?

The diagnostic assessment is carried out by either a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, who are experts in identifying ADHD in adults. During the appointment, they will carry out a thorough clinical interview using the DIVA-2, which covers questions about how your symptoms or traits are impacting on your life at home and at work, your relationships, plus what you were like as a child. They will compile all of the information that has been gathered during and prior to the assessment and consider this against the DSM-5 criteria to determine whether you do, or don't, meet the threshold for a diagnosis of ADHD. The outcome will be explained to you on the day, along with recommendations for adjustments at home and work as well as support options available to you.

What post-diagnostic support can I access?

If the results of the assessment indicate that you have ADHD, we will go through all the relevant support options with you. This usually looks like a ‘menu’ of possibilities (including medication and therapeutic options) and we'll help you select those you feel would work best for you. If you choose to opt for medication to treat your symptoms, a specialist prescriber will assess your suitability for treatment, carry out some routine tests and, if appropriate, initiate a treatment plan for you. After your first prescription, you will be asked to have regular reviews with your prescriber who will monitor the efficacy of the medication and any side effects you might have. When you and your clinician feel that you are on a stable dose, we will ask your GP to take over the management of the prescriptions and routine monitoring. However, we will always be available for expert advice and will most likely need to continue to see you once a year for specialist reviews.

What happens if I'm not diagnosed?

Our assessment process includes a free screening stage, carried out by our psychology team and led by a consultant clinical psychologist. They will look at information contained within your referral, as well as scores from a well-researched and clinically validated screening tool. ‍‍This information will show whether ADHD is indicated, or not. And even though it’s not diagnostic, it will enable you to make an informed decision as to whether to proceed with a full assessment before making any financial commitment. However, it is important to understand that despite the screening process being positive for ADHD, sometimes the outcome of the assessment will be a non-diagnosis. ‍‍This means you don't meet the threshold to be diagnosed with ADHD. If this is the case for you, our clinical team will still be able to provide recommendations for further support and we may even be able to ask your GP to make an onward referral for another type of assessment should this be clinically appropriate.

If it's not ADHD then why do I feel different?

We know that often clients attend their assessment with the feeling that the process will confirm something they already know. So, coming away from an assessment having been told that ADHD isn't diagnosed can be quite distressing and/or difficult to understand. ADHD can be tricky to diagnose later in life, and often symptoms or traits of ADHD can overlap with other psychological or psychiatric conditions e. g. anxiety, trauma or attachment disorder. Choosing an appropriately experienced and skilled clinician will mean that they can carefully unpick your symptoms and work with you to identify whether the way you feel is due to a neurodevelopmental condition like ADHD, or because of some other difficulties you may have faced in your life. If you do not receive a diagnosis, our clinical team will still be able to provide recommendations for further support and we may even be able to ask your GP to make an onward referral for another type of assessment should this be clinically appropriate.

I don't have anyone to help with the pre-assessment questionnaires, will this affect my assessment?

We ask someone who knows you well to support the assessment process by giving extra information. This is because the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-5) states that to meet the threshold for a diagnosis of ADHD, symptoms/traits/behaviours must have been present from childhood. Put simply, ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition caused by physiological differences in the brain, so will have been with you all your life. However, we understand that some people won't have anyone to support the process, and while this can make it trickier to conclude the assessment, it won't prevent the assessment from going ahead. If you aren't able to find someone to support you, we would advise you to bring as much information as you can that shows your strengths and needs as a child, for example old school reports.

How long will I have to wait before I am assessed?

This often depends upon how quickly we receive the pre-assessment information, but once we've received all questionnaires, we aim to provide an assessment appointment within four to six weeks.

Do you provide ADHD treatment with medication?

Yes, we can provide treatment for ADHD in the form of medication for clients who have been diagnosed and are deemed suitable for treatment. Before deciding whether medication is the right option for you, you will need to meet with a specialist prescriber who will discuss the benefits and risks of treatment and carry out some medical observations (blood pressure, pulse, height and weight). We will also usually ask your GP to carry out an ECG and sometimes routine blood tests prior to deciding if medication is a safe option for you. If you and the clinician agree that medication is appropriate, we will provide you with a treatment plan and give you your first prescription. You will need to be regularly reviewed to monitor for any side effects and to ascertain if your symptoms are being adequately managed. Sometimes the clinician will need to adjust the dose or type of medication you are prescribed, and this will happen alongside monitoring until you reach a stable dose and you and your clinician feel your ADHD is being adequately managed. We will then ask your GP to take over monitoring and prescribing, but we will always be available to you and your GP for ongoing specialist advice and support.

Does ADHD look different in women?

While the assessment process and diagnostic criteria are the same across the gender spectrum, it is true that ADHD in women can present very differently than in men. The criteria on which a diagnosis is made is largely known to be associated with symptoms in men and this can mean that women who have ADHD may go undiagnosed. Men often present their symptoms in a more obvious or ‘stereotypical’ way, for example they may present with more challenging behaviours, be more physically hyperactive or boisterous. Whereas women may have more subtle traits such as being easily distracted, having a tendency to daydream, being disorganised and forgetful. Having assessed thousands of individuals for ADHD, we are used to seeing it present in many different ways. Our team are very well trained in understanding the female presentation of ADHD and are fully aware that traits and symptoms can be trickier to see in women and girls.

Autism - Children

Will a private diagnosis be accepted by the NHS and my child’s school?

Our assessments fully comply with NICE guidelines, and we use the highest quality and well-regarded clinical model within our service. Importantly, the child will be seen by a doctor (paediatrician or psychiatrist) as part of the assessment, which isn't always the case with private assessments. We are also a trusted NHS provider and often support different NHS Trusts and ICBs with waiting lists. This means a diagnosis made by our service should be accepted by the NHS and schools/colleges.

Where will my child be seen?

Our clinic is in the heart of Canterbury in Kent. we've designed the children’s service to be comfortable, calming and fun and we often receive feedback from families that their children had such a nice time that they want to come back! There are more details about our clinic and how to find us here.

Who will carry out the assessment?

Our private autism assessments are carried out by a multidisciplinary team made up of a clinical psychologist, speech and language therapist or occupational therapist and a consultant paediatrician or child and adolescent psychiatrist. The assessment takes place and is concluded on the same day, with immediate feedback on the diagnostic outcome provided to families. For children referred via the NHS, information on the assessment process can be found here.

What will happen in the assessment?

When you arrive, you and your child will meet with our clinical team. Our clinicians will want to get to know your child, so once everybody has said ‘hello’ two of the team will take them to do lots of fun activities, like puzzles and storytelling. This is called an ‘ADOS’ and is considered the ‘gold standard’ tool for observing children as part of an autism assessment. During the ADOS, one of the clinicians will be observing and taking notes, while the other engages your child in naturalistic games and tasks designed to show up any autistic traits. While your child is with the clinicians, you'll be asked to speak with a consultant paediatrician or psychiatrist. They'll ask you about your child’s development, behaviours, strengths and needs. At the end of the session, the clinical team will re-group to discuss all the information gathered before and during the assessment appointment. They will then meet with you to provide feedback on the assessment, the diagnostic outcome and any recommendations they have for follow-up support and adjustments for home and school.

What post-diagnostic support can my child access?

We can offer sessions with a clinical psychologist. This might be for parents, as well as the young person, and focus on understanding and adjusting to having a diagnosis. It can also focus on mental health difficulties that have come about as a result of the young person’s challenges.

What happens if my child is too anxious in the assessment?

Our team are very experienced in working with young people and understand that an assessment is often a stressful experience for all the family. They will do their very best to put the young person and the whole family at ease and are very skilled at engaging the most shy and anxious children. In the worst case, if the child cannot engage in the session, we will either work with what they are able to do or offer another appointment.

What if the assessing clinicians don’t see what I see (masking)?

Having assessed thousands of children for autism, we are used to seeing it present in many different ways. Our assessments are designed to take masking and camouflaging into account – especially in females. Our team are very well trained in understanding the female presentation of autism and are aware that traits and symptoms can be trickier to see.

What happens if my child is not diagnosed?

If your child does not receive a diagnosis, this does not mean there isn't a problem. Autism can present like many other conditions and part of the assessment is ensuring that we can evidence that the traits we see are neurodevelopmental. A child’s experiences can influence how they operate and sometimes this can look like autism. It is important to establish what the cause of the difficulties are so the best support and understanding can be offered. If a child’s presentation is better understood by psychological factors, the approach would be very different than if they are autistic.

My child’s school doesn’t have any concerns, so how will this affect the assessment?

We always take the school’s observations into account, as this is an integral part of the assessment. To diagnose autism, it must be clear in multiple environments. As school is very structured, it is often a great place to be able to see it. However, if school does not report any observations of autistic traits, it does not mean there will be no diagnosis, as there can be other reasons for this. Autistic children can be ‘model’ students as they follow rules very well and quietly get on with their work. They can mask and make it seem like all is well but then have a ‘meltdown’ as soon as they get home. Our team are very familiar with this and will take everything into account when assessing.

Is autism different in girls?

Whilst the assessment process and diagnostic criteria are the same across the gender spectrum, it is true that autistic girls can present very differently to autistic boys. The criteria on which a diagnosis is made is largely known to be associated with symptoms in boys and men, and this can mean that girls who are autistic may go undiagnosed. Boys often present their symptoms in a more obvious or ‘stereotypical’ way, whereas girls may have more subtle traits. This is because they often learn how to hide their symptoms (mask) in order to fit in with their peers. Having assessed thousands of children for autism, we are used to seeing it present in many different ways. Our assessments are designed to take masking and camouflaging into account – especially in girls. Our team are very well trained in understanding the female presentation of autism and that traits and symptoms can be trickier to see.

How long is the waiting list?

This often depends upon how quickly parents and schools can return the pre-assessment information, but once we've received all questionnaires, we aim to provide an assessment appointment within four to six weeks.

Autism - Adults

Will a private diagnosis be accepted by the NHS?

Our assessments fully comply with NICE guidelines, and we use the highest quality and well-regarded clinical model within our service. We are also a trusted NHS provider and often support different NHS Trusts and ICBs with waiting lists. This means a diagnosis made by our service will be accepted by the NHS.

Who will carry out the assessment?

The assessment is carried out by either a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist, who are expertly trained and registered healthcare professionals in diagnosing autism in people aged 18 and over.

Where will I be seen?

Our clinic is in the heart of Canterbury in Kent and offers a comfortable and calming environment designed to put every visitor at ease. You will find more details about the clinic and how to get to us here.

What will happen in the assessment?

During the appointment, we will carry out a thorough clinical interview, which will cover a range of issues relating to your life experience. Our aim is to make you feel heard and understood. As autism can present in a similar way to other conditions, our job is to differentiate between those and autism itself, in order to give you an accurate opinion on your presentation. Once the assessment is complete, you will have time to ask questions about the outcome.

What post-diagnostic support can I access?

Following your autism assessment, whether diagnosed or not, our expert team will guide you on what support options are available to you at Psicon. These can include therapeutic treatment packages, provided by clinical and counselling psychologists within our wellbeing service, or, where clinically appropriate, we can ask your GP to make an onward referral for another type of assessment.

What happens if I'm not diagnosed?

Our assessment process includes a free screening stage, carried out by our psychology team and led by a consultant clinical psychologist. They will look at information contained within your referral, as well as scores from a well-researched and clinically validated screening questionnaire. ‍This information will show whether autism is indicated, or not. And even though it’s not diagnostic, it will enable you to make an informed decision as to whether to proceed with a full assessment before making any financial commitment. However, it is important to understand that despite the screening process being positive for autism, sometimes the outcome of the assessment will be a non-diagnosis. ‍This means you don't meet the threshold to be diagnosed with autism. If this is the case for you, our clinical team will still be able to provide recommendations for further support and we may even be able to ask your GP to make an onward referral for another type of assessment, should this be clinically appropriate.

If it's not autism, then why do I feel different? What do I do now?

We know that often clients attend their assessment with the feeling that the process will confirm something they already know. So, coming away from an assessment having been told that autism isn't diagnosed can be quite distressing and difficult to understand. Autism can be tricky to diagnose later in life, and often symptoms or traits of autism can overlap with other psychological or psychiatric conditions e. g. PTSD or Bipolar. Choosing an appropriately experienced and skilled clinician will mean that they can carefully unpick your symptoms and work with you to identify whether the way you feel is due to a neurodevelopmental condition like autism, or because of some other difficulties you may have faced in your life. If you do not receive a diagnosis, our clinical team will still be able to provide recommendations for further support and we may even be able to ask your GP to make an onward referral for another type of assessment should this be clinically appropriate.

Is autism different in women?

While the assessment process and diagnostic criteria are the same across the gender spectrum , it is true that autistic women can present very differently. The criteria on which a diagnosis is made is largely known to be associated with symptoms in men and this can mean that women who are autistic may go undiagnosed. Men often present their symptoms in a more obvious or ‘stereotypical’ way, whereas women may have more subtle traits. This is because women often learn how to hide their symptoms (mask) in order to fit in with their peers. Having assessed thousands of people for autism, we are used to seeing it present in many different ways. Our assessments are designed to take masking and camouflaging into account – especially in women. Our team are very well trained in understanding the female presentation of autism and know that traits and symptoms can be trickier to see in women.

I don’t have anyone to help with the pre-assessment questionnaires, will this affect my assessment?

We ask someone who knows you well to support the assessment process by giving extra information. This is because the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-5) states that to meet the threshold for a diagnosis of autism, symptoms/traits/behaviours must have been present from childhood. Put simply, autism is a neurodevelopmental condition caused by physiological differences in the brain, so will have been with you all your life. However, we understand that some people won't have anyone to support the process, and while this can make it trickier to conclude the assessment, it won't prevent the assessment from going ahead. If you aren't able to find someone to support you, we would advise you to bring as much information as you can that shows your strengths and needs as a child, for example old school reports.

How long is the waiting list?

This often depends upon how quickly we receive the pre-assessment information, but once we've received all questionnaires, we aim to provide an assessment appointment within four to six weeks.

Mental Wellbeing - Children

What's the difference between psychology and psychiatry?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specialises in the assessment, psychiatric diagnosis and medical treatment of mental health conditions. A clinical psychologist works from a non-medical model and seeks to understand individuals in the context of their own life. They develop a formulation, or ‘shared understanding’ designed to help the individual and their family see why an issue might have developed, what triggers it and what stops it from going away. Their main type of treatment is talking therapy, and they can draw from a range of options to provide a tailored approach. It takes about the same amount of time to train as either a psychiatrist or psychologist. If you don't know which one you need, we would be happy to help you decide.

How soon can my child be seen?

Once we have received your child’s referral information, we aim to offer an assessment appointment within four to six weeks.

How often are the sessions?

Most often, sessions are organised weekly. They might start out like this but can then be arranged fortnightly or monthly – or even as required once there has been progress.

How many sessions will we need?

Every person is unique so there is no ‘correct’ number of sessions. We can work to your timeframes and budgets when deciding how to proceed. Most often we see young people for 10 to 12 sessions, which is usually enough to see some meaningful change.

Do you have access to a psychiatrist?

While Psicon do not offer an in-house psychiatry service we are proud to have a longstanding relationship with Dr Vibhav Shetty, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist well renowned in Kent. As a medical doctor, Dr Shetty is able to provide full psychiatric assessments and diagnose psychiatric conditions, while providing ongoing support with follow-ups and medical treatment from our clinic in Canterbury, Kent. Should you or your clinician feel it appropriate, we can organise a referral to Dr Shetty on your behalf.

Can you work with my child's school?

We would be happy to liaise with a school and can write to or speak with them with your consent. Sharing a formulation of a child’s difficulties can be very useful to ensure a joined-up approach to their support.

Are the sessions confidential?

Yes, they are completely confidential, and no one can know what is spoken about without consent from the person in treatment if they are aged 13+. Below this age, parents are entitled to be informed about what is discussed. Regardless of age, we aim to establish a trusting relationship where the person being treated can feel safe in the knowledge that what they say will be treated in confidence, but also to advise if we think that it’s important or useful to share some things with parents. This can all be discussed and tailored to the family at the time. The only time we would break confidentiality without consent or discussion is if we were worried about someone in a crisis and they were in immediate danger.

Can I access therapeutic sessions as a parent, so I can better understand my child and their needs?

Yes, we regularly offer support to parents to help them better understand the needs of their child and learn new techniques to help manage challenging behaviour.

Mental Wellbeing - Adults

What's the difference between psychology and psychiatry?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specialises in the assessment, psychiatric diagnosis and medical treatment of mental health conditions. A clinical psychologist works from a non-medical model and seeks to understand individuals in the context of their own life. They develop a formulation, or ‘shared understanding’ designed to help the individual and their family see why an issue might have developed, what triggers it and what stops it from going away. Their main type of treatment is talking therapy, and they can draw from a range of options to provide a tailored approach. It takes about the same amount of time to train as either a psychiatrist or psychologist. If you don't know which one you need, we would be happy to help you decide.

What therapeutic interventions do you offer?

Our team of psychologists are able to offer a range of different therapeutic interventions. When we receive your referral, we will allocate you a clinician based on your clinical requirements so you can get the most out of your therapy. We can provide the following interventions within our adult mental wellbeing service:

How soon can I be seen?

Once we have received your referral form, we aim to offer you an initial assessment appointment within four to six weeks.

How often will I see my therapist?

Most often, sessions are organised weekly, but after a while can be arranged fortnightly or monthly. Once progress is made, they may even be scheduled as required.

Do you have access to a psychiatrist?

We do not provide a psychiatry service at Psicon. However, we do have access to skilled consultant psychiatrists who we can recommend. We can support a referral to them if this feels appropriate for you.

Can you prescribe psychiatric medication?

Psychiatric medication can only be prescribed by a GMC registered doctor, such as a psychiatrist. At Psicon we are a psychology-led service and do not provide psychiatry. However, we do have access to skilled consultant psychiatrists who we can recommend. We can support a referral to them if this feels appropriate for you.

Can you diagnose psychiatric conditions e. g. bipolar?

No. Psychiatric conditions can only be diagnosed by a psychiatrist. At Psicon we are a psychology-led service and do not provide psychiatry. However, we do have access to skilled consultant psychiatrists who we can recommend. We can support a referral to them if this feels appropriate for you.

NHS Partners

Who makes up your clinical team?

We have access to a group of over 150 registered healthcare professionals, including clinical psychologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, paediatricians, psychiatrists and specialist nurse prescribers.

Which other NHS organisations have you supported?

To date, we have worked with over 15 NHS Trusts and ICBs across seven counties, many of whom have commissioned repeated contracts over the years. We are exceptionally proud to be an established and trusted NHS partner and provider and we are confident that, should you choose Psicon, both you and your patients will receive an unparalleled service.

Where do you carry out the assessments?

We are able to quickly mobilise our services anywhere in the country and can use NHS estates or provide our own.

What specialist assessments do you provide to the NHS?

We are expert providers of autism and ADHD diagnostic assessments for patients across the lifespan.

What quality and governance measures do you have in place?

We are proud to be registered and regulated by the Care Quality Commission and ensure we apply the requirements of the Health and Social Care Act (2008) across the service, whether activity is ‘regulated’ or not. We also have robust clinical governance processes in place to ensure safe, efficient and effective care for our patients.

What clinical models do you use? Are they NICE compliant?

Yes, all our assessments are fully NICE compliant. We utilise different clinical models depending on the age of the patient and the type of assessment. With access to a full multidisciplinary team of clinical psychologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, paediatricians, psychiatrists and nurse practitioners, we are able to adapt our clinical models to suit the needs of your patient group and the budget available.

How quickly could you help us?

We can mobilise new contracts within weeks. With the support of our experienced leadership team, we can ensure the most efficient use of your time.

How do you provide assurance around activity and quality during the contract period?

We believe in collaboration, transparency and ensuring an open dialogue with our NHS commissioners. As such, we have developed what we believe to be an unrivalled reporting process, carried out by our dedicated business intelligence team. It is centred around activity to target, compliance with key performance indicators, patient feedback and satisfaction. We routinely receive exceptional feedback from our Trust and ICB colleagues on the quality of our activity reports.

Can you assess for people of all ages?

Yes. Our neurodevelopmental service provides assessments to children from two (six for ADHD) to 18 years of age, with no upper limit for adult patients. (We have assessed patients who are over 80 years old!)

Are you CQC registered?

Yes. Psicon became CQC registered in 2019 for treatment of disease, disorder or injury. This means that in addition to providing diagnostic assessments, we can also provide ADHD treatment services. Dr Dan Simmonds is our registered manager and Louise Simpson is our nominated individual. Details on our CQC registration can be accessed here.

NHS Patients

Where will I/my child be seen?

We work on behalf of many different NHS Trusts and ICBs and will be able to assess you/your child in your local area, most often within an NHS facility such as a hospital or community centre. All information about where you need to go will be contained within your appointment confirmation letter, which you'll receive shortly after arranging the assessment date.

I've had my assessment; how long will it take to receive my report?

Your full diagnostic report will usually be sent out to you within eight weeks of the conclusion of the assessment. We can provide a short letter confirming the diagnostic outcome while you wait for the full report. Just ask us.

How long will I/my child wait?

This is very much dependent upon what your local Trust or ICB have asked us to do and the length of time that they have given us to complete the project. However, the waiting time once transferred to Psicon will usually be significantly less than if you were to remain on the Trust’s waiting list.

Can I access post-diagnostic support through Psicon?

Anyone can access our wellbeing services at Psicon, but at the moment we don't provide these services outside of Canterbury or via NHS referral. Details of our self-funded wellbeing services can be found here. In some cases, following an ADHD assessment, we may be able to provide treatment with medication, depending on the type of arrangement we have with your local Trust or ICB. Our clinicians will be able to provide further information on suitable treatment options following the assessment if you/your child are diagnosed with ADHD.

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Dr Ana Mendes
Dr Oluwafemi Ogunbona
Dr Daniel William Simmonds
Sonet Strijdom
Louise Simpson
Louis Conradie

Get in Touch

We're with you at every step

Everyone’s mind is unique. Many of us are neurodiverse. And while the neurological differences that make us individuals can bring challenges, we believe that with understanding, empathy and expert support, everyone can thrive.

Talk to one of our team