The LANC was established by Dr Geoff Kewley, Consultant Paediatrician in 1993. Having been a general paediatrician in Australia for 16 years and then in NHS as a general paediatrician for six years, he started this Centre out of concern at the lack of appropriate service provision in the UK at that time for the assessment and management of children with complex neurodevelopmental difficulties particularly ADHD.
More than 6000 children, adolescents and adults have been assessed and managed at the Centre over the last almost 20 years. Approximately 250 new patients from all over the country and overseas are assessed annually. Approximately 1600 patients are on our current long-term management programme.
The Centre has developed a national reputation for its ability to assess and manage children, adolescents and adults with complex neurodevelopmental difficulties. It has been seen as providing experienced and thorough assessments by its multidisciplinary Centre in a highly professional yet user friendly and supportive way. It is the only such Centre in the UK in the independent sector. Although the Centre frequently sees patients with more straightforward problems, its great strength is its expertise in the assessment and management of people with complex neurodevelopmental difficulties.
Assessment is not just a quick consultation but a measured and thoughtful approach is taken over many hours. The child and family are assessed looking at not only social and educational factors but also the possibility of biological issues. Thus great time is taken over the consultation and also much information collated prior to the assessment. If our Centre is deemed to be inappropriate for a specific assessment this will be communicated before any action is taken.
The Centre has always had a school liaison officer as it considers school liaison is an essential part of a child’s Centreal management plan. Information is requested from schools with parental consent, prior to any assessment via our teacher feedback form and previous school reports and other assessments where appropriate. Following assessment there is, subject to parental consent, ongoing liaison with schools. This is to support the school with appropriate educational strategies.
The Centre is a “Neurocare Centre” because it increasingly uses quantitative EEG brain scans as part of its initial assessment. These scans are non-invasive, and in a very high percentage of children with clinically diagnosed ADHD, help confirm the diagnosis.
The brain wave patterns in children with ADHD/ADD show a different pattern of slow and fast wave activity. This is extremely useful in confirming to families that their child has a brain function issue rather than the issue being purely due to the environment.
Over the last 20 years.
More than 6000 children, adolescents and adults assessed at the Centre.
From all over the country and overseas
Approximately 250 new patients are assessed annually.
Long-term management programme.
We have approximately 1600 patients.
The Centre supports a range of strategies in the management of children with neurodevelopmental difficulties. Key amongst them are educational, behavioural and social supports where appropriate. The Centre also supports where appropriate carefully fine-tuned medication support to generally help with poor ADHD symptoms in keeping with the report of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (September 2008).
The Centre also provides a neurofeedback programme. This is an evidence-based brain training programme. This can be helpful either as an alternative to the use of medication or as an adjunct later on. The evidence shows that improvement can be seen in significant number of children with ADHD with concentration, short-term memory, mood swings, etc.
There is also evidence that in a number of children medication dosage can be lowered. This service is now provided from within the Learning Assessment Centre, as part of the range of strategies available for the management of people with ADHD.
The range of professionals working at the Centre which include psychologists, paediatricians, psychiatrists, specialist nurse prescriber, adult psychiatrist, and school liaison officer, enables the Centre to operate a lifespan seamless Centre. The Centre has always taken a lifespan approach in the management of these conditions. This approach has recently been validated by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) (September 2008).
The Centre has long recognised that adults with ADHD can suffer from a wide range of difficulties. At the Centre many adults are still seen who have transitioned from the children service.
Other adults are seen as new referrals because of their difficulties with the core ADD/ADHD symptoms of inattentiveness, impulsiveness or hyperactivity and/or because of the associated difficulties or coexisting conditions that have been exacerbated by their life’s pathways.
They may have underachieved academically, socially or in life generally and are often very bright but they are extremely frustrated by their underachievement. It may have affected their job prospects, their relationships or their self-esteem and organisational abilities.
The Centre assesses the parents of the children seen who have come to realise that they themselves may have ADHD and may have experienced some of their own life difficulties.