Health chiefs call for GP surgeries to have mental health experts
NHS England has called for doctors to have in-house mental health therapists in their practices in order to help patients with depression.
New guidance published by NHS England recommends the therapists are integrated into primary care teams and focus on mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
It adds that in-house mental health therapists should be able to receive referrals from patients, as well as doctors, clinical pharmacists and healthcare assistants.
According to NHS England, in-house therapists would mean patients would not have to travel far for treatment and help reduce the stigma around having a mental health problem.
The guidance adds that by intervening at an earlier stage and addressing common mental health issues, in-house therapists could also help reduce the number of referrals to hospital or community care.
Evidence suggests nine out of 10 adults with mental health problems are supported in primary care and broadening the range of services for patients, means local health services are better equipped to deal with patients’ physical and mental health needs.
The guidance also states several NHS trusts around the country are already pressing ahead with plans to integrate mental health and care services.
In Cambridge and Peterborough, early results show that timely and effective mental health care for people with diabetes, cardiovascular or respiratory illnesses have resulted in a three-quarters reduction in inpatient hospital attendance and a two-thirds drop in A&E admissions, freeing up £200,000 of NHS funding.
“Joining up talking therapy services in primary care settings is another big step forward for our patients and a key plank in putting mental health at the centre of the long-term plan for the NHS,” said NHS England’s National Director for Mental Health, Claire Murdoch.
“We are on track to deliver 3,000 therapists in primary care, with over 800 in surgeries at the end of last year and this handy guidance should convince those practices that are yet to take the plunge of the benefits.”
To read the full guidance document, click here.
Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing
Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.
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