HUNDREDS of patients across Barnsley who have been diagnosed with ADHD are being told to expect a shortage of medication - after the NHS issued a national patient safety alert.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a condition which impacts many people across the UK.
Adults and children with the condition may have difficulty concentrating, act impulsively and appear restless.
The NHS has issued a national patient safety alert about a shortage of certain drugs used to treat the condition.
These include some formats of the most prescribed drug for ADHD - methylphenidate hydrochloride - alongside all lisdexamfetamine and guanfacine medication.
The NHS has previous said there is also a shortage of some types of atomoxetine.
Figures from the NHS Business Services Authority show 5,472 patients were prescribed one of these drugs in some form in the South Yorkshire area in the three months to June.
Hundreds of these patients are from Barnsley.
Henry Shelford, CEO of the ADHD UK charity, said medication is ‘life-changing’ for those with the condition - and taking it away can have disastrous consequences for individuals with ADHD.
He said: “The NHS should have realised that this was happening and had a plan in place.
“Instead, people are only finding out when their pharmacy can’t supply.
“They’ve been left stranded with no support.
“Medication is carefully given with dosage and type worked out over months.
“The idea it can be chopped and changed is wrong.
“This is devastating for individuals across the country and will be life-changing for some.
“People with ADHD are being let down by the NHS - this is just the latest way in which we are being failed.”
A spokesperson for the South West Yorkshire NHS Partnership, which runs services across Barnsley, said residents with ADHD should keep an eye on how much medication they have left.
“Although this may cause you worry, running out of these medications is not an emergency,” they said.
“If you have no medication left, your community pharmacy, GP practice and/or ADHD service may be limited in how they can help further until stock levels return to normal.
“Check your supply of medication and order your next supply in plenty of time.”
The shortage is expected to last until December - though there is no definitive date for when the medication will become available.
The service has asked those affected to contact their employers or schools to ask for more support.
“You may want to let your family, friends, school, or workplace know about the shortage of medication so that they can provide support in case you have an increase in your ADHD symptoms if you have problems obtaining your prescription,” they added.
“You may want to think about what helped you to manage your symptoms before you started medication, so that you prepare to manage your symptoms as well as possible in case you have difficulty getting your medicines.”