CG123 Common mental health disorders: Dr Barbara Compitus
Bristol GP Dr Barbara Compitus discusses NICE’s common mental health disorders guidance.
This podcast was added on 26 May 2011
Bristol GP Dr Barbara Compitus discusses NICE’s common mental health disorders guidance
Hello and welcome to this podcast from NICE. Today sees that launch of a new piece of guidance on common mental health disorders. Joining me to discuss the guidance is Dr Barbara Compitus a GP in Southville in Bristol.
Q1: “So Barbara what does the term common mental health disorders cover?”
Barbara:” It covers depression, general anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, post traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety.”
Q2: “How common are these disorders?”
Barbara: “At any one time in the UK population one in six people is affected by a common mental health disorder.”
Q3: “NICE has produced guidance on depression and on generalised anxiety disorders, so why do we need this new piece of guidance?”
Barbara: “This guideline draws together all of the pre-existing NICE guidelines but it also puts them into a structured set of pathways so that it focuses on access, identification, treatment and pathways to care and brings them all together in one place so that GPs have a one-stop shop as it where.
“This enables them to have all these tools at hand within a 10 minute consultation. To improve the identification and pick up rate and the number of people offered treatment.”
Q4: “Is the pick up rate something of a problem in primary care? Are GPs struggling to pick up patients with say depression or anxiety disorder?”
Barbara: “I think the previous guidelines relating to depression and also the improving access to psychological therapies service has gone a long way to improving things for depression and what we want to see with this guideline is to actually start to improve things for those people suffering with anxiety disorders.
“So really that’s where we see this guideline having a major impact in improving access and treatment for people with anxiety disorders.”
Q5: “What does the guideline recommend GPs do if a patient comes along and the GP suspects that they may have depression? What should they do next?”
Barbara: “The guidelines cover the options for GPs in an initial consultation using the simple questions, a two question test for depression, and we also add in a two question test for anxiety now.
“These are simple tools that GPs can use to help identify or raise their awareness of whether someone may have a mental health disorder.
“And it also clearly defines the most appropriate type of treatment depending on what the primary problem is, whether its anxiety as a primary problem or depression as a primary problem, or if alcohol is mixed in with the depression.
“So it clearly defines in all of those areas what the most effective point of call for treatment should be and then guides you to what you should do if the treatment is not effective.”
Q6: “Depending on the response to the questionnaires, in terms of treatment is this something that the GPs should be doing or should they refer to secondary care services?”
Barbara: “There are a whole range of things that GPs can do including referring on to other services such as the improving access to psychological therapies service and secondary mental health but there is also a strong recommendation about self-help.
“So there is that and there is also guided self-help so there are a number of things a GP can do within their practice to enable a person to improve their symptoms. So it’s not all about referring onwards.”
Q7: “Given the current climate of cuts to the NHS, is this a piece of guidance that can be implemented without much in the way of financial incentives or extra funding?”
Barbara: “I think the government has identified that the psychological therapy strand of funding will continue so that money will be available nationally and its about using the money in a cost-effective way.
“We know that the burden to society of common mental health disorders, certainly to employers, is around £25 billion a year. So it’s about trying to improve treatment, to improve people’s productivity, to make these guidelines cost-effective so society as a whole benefits from these guidelines.”
“Barbara thank you.”
This resource should be used alongside the published guidance. The information does not supersede or replace the guidance itself.
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This page was last updated: 19 September 2012