RCGP response to Mental Health Taskforce report

Publication date: 15 February 2016

Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “The aspirations set out in this report are encouraging, ambitious and admirable.

“We are particularly encouraged by the proposals to expand child mental health services and provide better support for women with perinatal mental health problems – a clinical priority for the College.

“It is very reassuring that these plans are backed up by the commitment to spend an additional £1bn pounds a year on mental health services by 2020/21.
“However, 90% of all NHS patient contacts are dealt with by GPs and our teams. As such GPs play a vital role in diagnosing patients with mental health problems and providing the care they need to help them live safely in the community – but this is not explicitly reflected in this report.
“As we move forward we would like ensure every GP practice has easy access to trained mental health workers who can deliver therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy and other talking therapies, that have been found to be incredibly beneficial for patients. This way our patients can access these important and effective services when they need them, not 28 days or more later, as is currently often the case.

“This is an important document and one that promises to be beneficial for patients as we strive for parity of esteem between physical and mental health. As we explore the recommendations made in the Taskforce report, we would urge for better GP access to mental health services in the community so we can deliver the care our patients need, close to their homes.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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