GPs need more time to help treat complex health needs, says College

Publication date: 02 October 2019

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has responded to findings published in Mind's annual Big Mental Health survey.

She said: "GPs are specialist prescribers and will only recommend medications based on the individual circumstances of a patient, taking into account physical, psychological and social factors, and after a full and frank discussion around treatment options.

"This will always aim to include any common or potentially serious side effects, and an expectation of how long medication may take to work. We also ask patients, wherever possible, to familiarise themselves with the comprehensive information leaflets that should come included with every pack of their medication.

"Patients who have been prescribed medication for mental health conditions will be invited to have regular medicine reviews with their GP, and pharmacists will also be able to help with any queries or concerns.

"However, general practice is under extreme pressures and the standard 10-minute GP consultation is simply inadequate to properly deliver care to patients with complex health needs – which mental health conditions invariably are. We need greater investment in general practice so that we can spend more time with our patients.

"The College is also calling for longer GP training, based in appropriate community settings so that our future doctors are as prepared as they possibly can be to deal with the complexities of modern-day general practice."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 53,000 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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