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Setback for mental health gap

Government plans to plug the gap in mental health provision could fall foul of poor morale and low retention, according to new research.

A study by the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre found graduate workers felt their roles were poorly defined.

The majority expressed dissatisfaction with their salary, it added.

A 'significant proportion' planned to leave within six months, found the research, summarised in the centre's annual report.

The findings came as the Government told Pulse it was still aiming to recruit up to 1,000 graduate workers to relieve pressure on therapists, despite employing only 648 so far ­ well short of the target 1,000 by 2004.

Dr Harry Yoxall, medical secretary of Somerset LMC and a GP in Taunton, said: 'We understand there are graduate workers being trained to deliver these therapies but so far they have made little impact.'

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