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Half of GPs failed to receive mental health training in past 12 months

Half of GPs said they hadn’t undertaken mental health training in more than a year, according to a recent survey, leading the RCGP to call for increased funding for support services.

The report by the Scottish Association for Mental Health surveyed more than 460 GPs and found that 85% of GPs thought there were gaps in mental health service provision, with 73% calling more alternatives to pharmaceutical treatments.

It also found almost one in ten GPs had never undertaken accredited mental health training, despite 30% of patient consultations having a mental health component.

RCGP Scotland chair elect Dr Miles Mack said GPs could find accredited training on the RCGP’s e-website, saying: ‘This survey attracted a tremendous response from GPs right across Scotland, demonstrating the importance of this issue to our members.

Dr Mack added: ‘We see large numbers of patients for whom mental health problems form part of a complex health scenario. It is vital that general practice is resourced adequately to ensure that all patients receive the services they need.’

A  Scottish Government spokesperson they were acting on the issue already, adding: ‘We are committed to ensuring information on social prescribing is available locally and we use national data to improve service delivery.’

In an interview with BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme today, Scottish health secretary Alex Neil said he does ‘absolutely accept we need to put more money into GPs’ and had instructed health boards to provide evidence of resources being shifted’.

Readers' comments (3)

  • What appears to be the right thing to do and what a GP actually does is not always fro the best. Patients dumped into mental health care systems never leave it, sometimes a kind word and a little understanding is all that is really needed. when GP's can't cope with mental health issues they dump the patient adding to their mounting anxiety and problems, especially when the real issues are linked more to physical health than mental health.

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  • These 90% without training need to use their time to help . Many colleagues have mental issues

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  • 'Half of all GPs received mental health training in the past 12 months.'
    That sounds better, especially given that GPs receive mental health training during their GP registrar training.
    Should GPs really be retrained in every single aspect of medicine each year?
    Honestly, this headline is like something the BBC would print.

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