mental health

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Bringing-together-Kings-Fund-March-2016_1

Bringing together physical and mental health

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consultations with GPs or other practice staff to provide advice on how best

to support specific patients.

In terms of direct work with patients, this is limited to a maximum of 16 sessions

and can involve psychodynamic therapy, CBT, group therapy or photography/

horticultural groups as appropriate. A patient’s initial assessment is conducted by

a highly skilled professional within the team; this is regarded as critical for this

client group.

The PCPCS team supports GPs and other practice staff to understand what might be

going on for a patient, beneath the surface presentation. There is an implicit focus in

this on increasing resilience and satisfaction within the primary care team. Training

can be tailored for particular topics and is delivered in a variety of ways:

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informally, through support and advice

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case-based discussions in surgeries

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helping GPs to take a psychologically minded approach to consultations

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more formal training of primary care staff to enhance their capacity to help

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e-learning training programmes for GPs.

More recently, the trust has also been commissioned to provide a similar service to

GPs in Camden, known as the Team Around the Practice service.

Outcomes

An internal evaluation showed that GPs reported feeling more confident in

managing patients with complex needs, and greater satisfaction in holding

consultations. Other GPs have reported high satisfaction from what they see as a

changed relationship with their patients; they can hold conversations with them

now which they would have struggled to hold before – for example, in relation to

the psychological aspects of chronic pain.

An economic evaluation of this service showed that, for certain measures

(depression, anxiety and individuals’ ability to carry out day-to-day tasks), around

75 per cent of patients showed improvements in their mental health, wellbeing and

Appendices: case study site profiles 81

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