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Number of patients presenting with depression halves in ten years while anti-depressant prescriptions increase



The number of patients seeing their GPs for depression has halved in the last ten years, according to official Scottish health statistics.

The figures – released by NHS Scotland last month – show there were only 420,000 consultations for depression last year compared with 850,000 in 2003.

But prescriptions for depression have increased sharply in the same period from 3.4 million items in 2003 to 5.2 million last year, an analysis of the figures by the Scottish Conservatives reveal.

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw called for an urgent explanation over what he said was a ‘glaring gulf’ in how to care for people living with depression.

He said: ‘If there are so many fewer GP consultations, where are the tens of thousands extra people suffering from depression getting their medication from?’

‘We cannot have a situation where people are being parked on this medication, and robbed of any chance of a full recovery.’

Number of consultations in relation to depression in the last 10 years with a GP or practice nurse

2003/4 – 851,160

2004/5 – 751,770

2005/6 – 678,450

2006/7 – 507,980

2007/8 – 403,230

2008/9 – 373,250

2009/10 – 399,450

2010/11 – 402/520

2011/12 – 441,180

2012/13 – 420,060

Source: http://www.isdscotland.org/health-topics/general-practice/gp-consultations/

 

Number of antidepressant items prescribed:

2003/4 – 3,402,223

2004/5 – 3,477,630

2005/6 – 3,529, 927

2006/7 – 3,654,592

2007/8 – 3,826,746

2008/9 – 4,005,497

2009/10 – 4,308,344

2010/11 – 4,659,181

2011/12 – 5,011,269

2012/13 – 5,218,051

Source: www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Prescribing-and-Medicines/Publications/data-tables.asp?id=1146#1146