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Trafford Combined ADHD Service: TCAS

Coronavirus update - April 2020

  • Trafford Combined ADHD service

Is not taking any new referrals or doing any investigation which need face to face contact at present to maintain social distancing. Telephone support is ongoing.

The Consultant Paediatric team have created an ADHD Covid-19 advice leaflet

  • Prescription service

Prescription for ADHD medicine and sleep medicines are provided to parents where already prescribed by the consultant. The parents request by phone and shared care protocols are sent to GPS where applicable

  • Telephone queries

Parents are encouraged to telephone or email when needed and all the queries are replied to support the children, young persons and their carer. Appropriate referrals are made and signposted where applicable

About our Service

There is a new ADHD pathway primarily for children aged between 6 and 18 years
old. It includes a new service called Trafford Combined ADHD Service (TCAS).

This is jointly provided by Community Paediatricians and Healthy Young Minds
who provide Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

The pathway encourages schools to identify children with behaviour difficulties, address any learning and training needs, and put the appropriate behaviour strategies in place
based on your child’s needs and without waiting for a formal diagnosis.

What to do initially

If you have initial concerns around your child’s behaviour or learning, you should
first speak to your child’s school. A support plan will be developed and you will get
help with behaviour strategies. You may also be offered a parenting course. If your
child is home-schooled then you should speak to your GP.

Referral and Assessment Process

If your child does not progress as expected after receiving support through school,
a referral should be made by the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
(SENCO). They will send the relevant information to support the assessment which
will help to speed up the process. Based on the referral information, the TCAS team
will make an appointment with a Paediatrician, ADHD Nurse or with Healthy Young
Minds, as appropriate.

How can I explain to my child the reason for the assessment?

It would be useful for you to have a discussion with your child ahead of the
assessment. You should ask them to think about their strengths and difficulties and
explain that all of us are good at some things and find other things more difficult,
such as paying attention. Explain that the doctor or nurse can help with the things
that they struggle with.


What to expect from the assessment for ADHD?

  • A discussion with the doctor/nurse for information to be gathered, allowing you to express your concerns as well as exploring any additional difficulties, such as social communication and motor skills.

  • Information gathering from the school. This may have already been done if the school has completed the relevant forms. It will include questionnaires completed by the parent carer and teacher.

  • An appointment letter will be sent to you for your child to have a Qb Test.  This is an ADHD assessment tool.

How long will the assessment take?

If all the information is complete and received in good time, the outcome of the
assessment can be given at the first or second appointment. This is usually within
18 weeks but it can take longer if the information gathered requires further
investigation or the case is more complex.

Pathway Timeline

TCAS ADHD pathway

Diagnosis and post diagnosis

If your child receives an ADHD diagnosis, treatment options will be discussed and agreed:

  • You will be invited to the ADHD parent workshop as behaviour modification strategies are the first line of treatment for children who have mild to moderate impairment. This will include learning how to teach your child to understand and self-manage their difficulties.

  • Notifying your child’s school of the diagnosis so support can be given.

  • National guidelines recommend that medication for ADHD is reserved for children with severe impairment. Severe ADHD has an impact on learning, home life, social life or friendships. Behaviour modification strategies will also be used for those with a severe impairment.

If your child does not receive a diagnosis of ADHD:

  • This does not mean that your concerns are not valid but other conditions or causes of your child’s behaviour difficulties will be considered.
    This may require referral to other specialists, therapies or agencies for either assessment or general support and advice. TCAS will co-ordinate post-diagnostic support.

Children younger than 6 years

  • Although children can present at a young age with ADHD like symptoms, many are related to immaturity/delayed control of attention and impulsivity and this improves with age rather than having a disorder. It is therefore recommended to wait until they are older.

  • Diagnostic tools are not reliable for children under 6 years of age, and medication is not licenced. Side effects are also more common for this age group.

  • For young children, the focus of treatment and support is parent training courses and school based support.
    More information can be accessed via a Health Visitor, although support will also be available from the School Nurse, SENCO, Early Help Hubs or the Trafford Directory.


You can download and print the Parent carer ADHD Pathway and TCAS Service leaflet, co-produced with Trafford Parents Forum.

Trafford SEND local offer

You will find details of all the help and support available locally on the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) local offer

Some local sources of support:

  • Trafford Talkshop - Advice, information and health services for young people aged between 13 and 19 years old.
  • Stretford & Partington Early Help Hubs - Children’s Centres that provide support for children aged 0-11 and their parents/carers.
  • 42nd Street - Support young people aged 13-25 years with their emotional wellbeing through counselling, 1:1 support or groups.
  • Trafford Sunrise - Support for children aged 5–12 years in coping with stress and promoting emotional wellbeing.
  • Short Breaks – these range from going to local groups through to having specially trained carers coming to your home.

If you do not have access to the internet or need this information in a different format,
please contact Trafford Family Information Service on 0161 912 1053 or email

Useful websites

Who to contact

0161 912 2352
Extra details

If there has already been a referral you can contact:

  • Community Paediatrics: 0161 912 2151
  • Healthy Young Minds: 0161 716 4747

If not, please see below for referral details.

Who is it for?

Eligibility Details

The pathway covers the assessment and management of children and young people with suspected or diagnosed ADHD. The pathway is primarily for children and young people aged 6-16.

How to use this service

Referral Required?
Referral Details

Referrals to the service are via the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator – based within the child’s school), consent must be obtained from parent/guardian and the child must be registered with a Trafford GP. 

If the child is home-schooled then a referral can come via the GP.

TCAS Referral Form

The following information also needs to be included in the referral:

If the child is younger than 6 years there are concerns around a child’s behaviour or learning then a referral should be made to the family Health Visitor.

Last updated date:
30 April 2020

We strongly suggest contacting the service or activity before you use it. This way you can check all the details are correct and that everything is right for you. Trafford Directory disclaimer


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