NHS guidance suggests mental health therapists should be brought into GP surgeries

pharmafile | August 29, 2018 | News story | Research and Development England, GP, NHS, guidance, psychology, psychotherapy 

New NHS guidelines will encourage doctors to incorporate mental health therapists into practice surgeries in an effort to bring more physical and mental health services together under one roof.

The therapists will be integrated into primary care teams and focus on common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, particularly in cases in which these conditions occur in patients with long term physical health conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions or respiratory problems.

The guidance comes after research suggests that nine out of 10 adults with mental health problems are supported in primary care.

Claire Murdoch, NHS England’s national director for mental health commented: “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. 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.”

The move is intended to encourage attendance and increase access to mental health services by reducing the distances that must be travelled and the stigma associated with mental health conditions.

Dr Emma Tiffin, clinical mental health lead, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough sustainability and transformation Plan (STP) commented: “As a GP, an important part of my work is to help make patients’ access to mental and physical health care as quick and easy as possible and that includes informing patients about the options available to access treatments and normalising mental health part of the GP offer.”

Louis Goss

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