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Links between mental health care professionals and general practices in England and Wales: the impact of GP fundholding

Links between mental health care professionals and general practices in England and Wales: the impact of GP fundholding

Corney, Roslyn (1996) Links between mental health care professionals and general practices in England and Wales: the impact of GP fundholding. British Journal of General Practice (BJGP), 46 (405). pp. 221-224. ISSN 0960-1643 (Print), 1478-5242 (Online)

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Fundholding general practitioners are able to determine the type of contracts they place with providers of mental health care, and are able to employ some categories of mental health care professionals directly. The impact of this on the care of the mental health of patients in non-fundholding practices is not yet fully known.

AIM: A survey was undertaken of 100 fundholding general practices and 100 similarly sized non-fundholding practices in order to investigate the changes in mental health provision made by general practitioners.

METHODS: A sample of 100 fundholding general practices in England and Wales was randomly chosen from the list supplied by the Association of Fundholders and matched to a similarly randomly chosen sample of non-fundholding practices. Postal questionnaires were sent to the senior partner and to the practice manager in each practice.

RESULTS: The number of mental health care professionals who are either employed by or attached to general practices, or who visit the general practice on a regular basis appears to have increased substantially since 1991. This increase was particularly marked in fundholding practices. The results suggest that general practitioners with specific links to particular mental health care providers were more satisfied with the service provided by the mental health care team, and more likely to increase referrals to that service in the last 2 years, than general practitioners without such links. There was little evidence to suggest that increasing the number of mental health care professionals in primary care had brought about a major reduction in referrals to psychiatrists.

CONCLUSION: General practitioners, particularly fundholders, are increasing their links with mental health professionals, and community psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors are spending more time either based in general practice or visiting regularly. While the shift of resources to primary care, particularly to fundholders, may increase the treatment options available to patients with less severe illnesses, this may have the effect of reducing the services available for the long-term and severely mentally ill.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: mental health professionals, GP links, interprofessional relationship, GP services, GP budget holder, randomized trials
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:13
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/5001

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