GPs concerned about mental healthcare

GPs are calling for more investment in mental healthcare, according to a recent survey.

Fifty-eight per cent of GPs say that the quality of NHS care provided for mental health patients is poor. More than half (52%) cite the lack of support for patients with mental health issues as their key concern, while 45% believe that mental health will be the biggest health issue in 2011.

Better support services and a change in patient attitude are essential if care for mental health patients is to be improved, according to the research based on a panel of 208 GPs across the UK.

Aviva’s 2011 Health of the Nation research also reveals that more than a quarter (26%) of GPs say that it is hard to help patients with mental health problems because there is little access to support services in their area.

More than one-third (35%) admit to prescribing pills as a “quick-win” solution when patients face long waiting lists for support. Two in five (41%) feel that there should be less reliance on drugs as a “catch-all” solution. Counselling is a popular alternative, with 38% of GPs recommending this route.

More than half (55%) of GPs feel that they need more support from employers to help prevent workplace stress.

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