Debate on public health

We asked:- Should GP’s prioritise mental health problems
more in order to improve general public health?

These are the comments we received:-

“Yes, the NHS is always preoccupied with the physical well-being
only. What will it take to get Primary Care Trusts and public
health to realise that, in most cases, they are intertwined.

GP’s are gatekeepers to general health for individual patients
and if there is stress at work, are GP’s ready to sign patients off
rather than refer them to appropriate support services or even find
out the reasons behind the stress?

Most PCT’s around the country are employing primary care
graduate workers who will be based in GP surgeries and provide
brief protocol based psychological interventions. This is only part
of the solution to the problem given that one third of GP caseload
has a mental health dimension to it.

The more GPs raise that as a health concern then mental health
commissioners would need to understand that within the
commissioning process.”

Asha Ravindran
Mental Health Commissioning manager
North Birmingham Primary Care Trust

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