Our Comprehensive Approach To ADHD Diagnosis And Care


At Cardinal Clinic, our process is built to ensure accurate diagnosis of ADHD. Treating ADHD at Cardinal Clinic is a holistic care plan involving psychotherapy...

At Cardinal Clinic, our process is built to ensure accurate diagnosis of ADHD. Treating ADHD at Cardinal Clinic is a holistic care plan involving psychotherapy and medication. Our team of experts work closely with patients to ensure the right dosage of medication and provide alternatives if it is not having the desired outcome.

Article Highlights

  • Our preference is always for face-to-face assessments and only do these virtually where the patient cannot attend Cardinal Clinic in person.
  • Cardinal Clinics ADHD assessment is double the length of the average private ADHD-only clinics (source: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-65534448
  • Cardinal Clinic has a strong focus on accuracy of diagnosis, often finding comorbidity of conditions alongside ADHD or no presenting mental health condition at all 
  • As a psychiatric hospital, we have expertise across the full range of mental health conditions.  Patients with ADHD often have other mental health difficulties which may be treated alongside the ADHD.  
  • Medication dosages are tailored to each patient who normally attends at least 3 medicine review appointments to ensure the right plan for them
  • Physical health screenings are done for every patient before prescribing ADHD medications. 
  • Cardinal Clinic is not associated with the NHS has been operating independently for more than 50 years and has a CQC overall rating of ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ for care 


About Cardinal Clinic, Private Mental Health Hospital 


Around 3-4% of adults in the UK are affected by ADHD, and with more people being assessed, making sure the assessment process is the best it can be is more important now than ever. A recent undercover investigation into private ADHD Clinics in London  has found that patients are being offered powerful drugs and unreliable online assessments (which may lead to misdiagnosis). 


At Cardinal Clinic, we have been rated Outstanding for care by the CQC and we ensure that level of care is provided to all patients. We are a private mental health hospital located in the outskirts of Windsor and have been helping people for almost 50 years. We are experts in ADHD, but also in other areas of mental health, ranging from anxiety and depression to eating disorders. For more information about the conditions we treat at Cardinal Clinic and our approaches, click here


We are not affiliated with the NHS and currently only take patients on a self-referral or GP-referral basis.


Our In-Depth ADHD Diagnosis Process

ADHD is a complex condition and many other mental health conditions may appear to be ADHD, when it is something else. Our process is built to ensure accurate diagnosis of ADHD within a facility equipped to provide care if the patient turns out to have a different condition altogether. 


We take time getting to know our patients by asking them to fill out in-depth pre-assessment questionnaires before their appointment. The pre-assessment questionnaire is split into 4 parts. The  first is an adult ADHD self-report scale (ASRS) which is a self-report screening scale for ADHD in adults. The second is a ASRS (observer form) to be filled out by family members/ friends/ siblings/ teachers. The third is The Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS), an early childhood questionnaire that is typically filled out by a parent or primary caregiver. And lastly, the Neurodevelopmental Pathway Pre-Assessment Questionnaire (NDPPAQ), a self report questionnaire that looks into your past history and personal information.  Any school reports can also be sent at this stage to gain a better understanding of the patients history.  This allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the patient and their history before they arrive for their assessment. Once the information about the patient is sent to us, our ADHD practitioner scores the forms ahead of the appointment.

The results are shared with the ADHD Consultant Psychiatrist and will be discussed further in the initial appointment. If the patient fills out the pre-assessment questionnaire and it scores that they do not have ADHD, we still encourage the patient to attend the in-person assessment. We carry out the assessment as we also consider the possibility of other diagnoses as part of it. 


The total time for the assessment is 2 hours (compared to private clinic competitors which average at 1 hour) and it is split into three separate parts. The first 30 minutes consists of a risk assessment being carried out, it is then followed by an hour long diagnostic interview for ADHD. This interview is split into two parts that are applied to both childhood and adulthood to ensure the assessment is as accurate as possible. The final 30 minutes includes discussing the outcome of the diagnosis and discussing the next steps such as medication and alternative treatment options. Once the assessment has taken place, a report is sent with all the information that was discussed at the assessment. 

Our ADHD Treatment Approach 

Treating ADHD at Cardinal Clinic is a holistic care plan involving psychotherapy and medication. Our team of experts work closely with patients to ensure the right dosage of medication and provide alternatives if it is not having the desired outcome. Further, our accuracy of ADHD diagnosis ensures medication is only given to patients who would benefit from it. 


After a couple of weeks, if the patient have been diagnosed with ADHD, a 30 minute appointment takes place to prescribe medication. We always carry out health checks on the patients prior to prescribing the medications to ensure there are no physical health implications that could be impacted by the ADHD medications. At Cardinal Clinic, we encourage patients to also try alternative methods to medication and in this appointment the different coping strategies that are available will also be discussed. To ensure the best outcome, we recommend each patient to attend at least 3 medicine review appointments to get to a stable situation. Once medication is stabilised, it is normal for a quarterly follow-up appointment with the consultant to ensure everything remains as expected. 


We recognise that ADHD is a lifelong condition and requires different methods to purely medication. To help patients throughout the process, we also offer an ADHD aftercare group. The aim of the aftercare group is to provide a service delivering psychoeducation about the ADHD diagnosis, in addition to tailored support within the CBT framework. The purpose of the group will be to provide patients with a supportive network to develop an understanding of their ADHD and help navigate their next steps. 



Comment from Dr Paul Wallang, Forensic Psychiatrist and ADHD Programme Lead.

“At Cardinal Clinic, we provide medication as part of a holistic care plan, and always discuss psychology, nutrition, exercise, and coaching with every patient. 

We also prefer to assess our patients in person and always complete a comprehensive assessment process which also considers the possibility of other diagnoses.” 

If you or a loved one is looking for mental health care for ADHD, get in touch with us today. For more resources on ADHD see our blog and ADHD treatment page. 

1 in 4 people in England need mental health support*

We’re here to ensure you do not have to face it alone.

If you feel like you need professional help, we’re a private mental health hospital in Windsor with nurses on hand 24 hours a day who provide expert clinical treatment.

You can call Cardinal Clinic on 01753 869755 for confidential help and advice or send us an enquiry.

*McManus, S., Meltzer, H., Brugha, T. S., Bebbington, P. E., & Jenkins, R. (2009). Adult psychiatric morbidity in England, 2007: results of a household survey.

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