GPs at forefront of delivering mental health care during pandemic, says RCGP

Responding to new ONS figures on depression in adults, Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said the following.

“Today’s figures show the impact the pandemic has had on many patients’ mental health – and GPs and our teams are on the front line of caring for them. We see in our surgeries both the direct mental health impact of the pandemic on patients who may have had COVID-19 or are suffering with longer term symptoms of the virus - and the indirect impact, for example on those who have mental health problems associated with the social and/or economic impact of lockdown restrictions.

“The increasing numbers of patients presenting mental health conditions is one example of the increasing complexity of GP work during the pandemic – and highlights the need for GPs to have more time with their patients. General practice is busier than ever – with figures showing we made almost 15m consultations in March, up 20% on February, as well as leading the COVID vaccination programme, with 75% of vaccinations being delivered in primary care.

“GPs and our teams are forefront of helping communities recover from the pandemic, including ensuring patients receive the mental health care they need. To do this, our profession needs the support of Government and policymakers - we urgently need to see plans to address the intense workload and workforce pressures facing general practice, so that we can continue delivering the care our patients need and deserve.”

Further information

(For media only)

RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7633/7494/7574
Out of hours: 020 3188 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.