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Proud of our Practice: Feel-good factor puts practice in the mood

The Middle Chare Surgery's mood management clinic has proved so successful it has had to double its capacity just six months after setting it up.

Dr John Preston (right) and nurse consultant David Ekers (centre) set up the clinic because they felt there was a gap in care for people with mild depression.

The practice in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, also wanted to improve tracking of patients who had depression to pick up future relapses quickly.

Dr Preston said: 'We wanted to treat depression like any other chronic disease with regular follow-up, and a stepped-care approach.'

The clinic assesses level of depression using the PHQ9 score. Patients are offered weekly face-to-face or phone consultations with graduate mental health worker Rachael Baskaran (left). Around 18 are seen each week.

'We feel passionate about

care for our patients going

through a difficult time and we're very proud of the results,'

Dr Preston said.

'We have prevented several people taking antidepressants, and devised a scheme we hope could be made available elsewhere.'

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