“Transferring powers for commissioning to GPs presents an opportunity for them to develop mental health services that meet local needs and give patients the choice they want. However, GPs currently lack the specialist mental health knowledge and training to understand the complexities of mental health commissioning. They should look to the experts and tap in to the personal knowledge of patients and mental health charities about what works. “
“The Government must also be careful that these proposals do not create a micro-postcode lottery. There are already huge variations in the standard and types of mental health care patients receive depending on where they live. For example, access to talking therapies remains patchy, with people waiting months and sometimes years for certain treatments while antidepressant prescribing has soared. Any structural changes must not widen inequalities.”
“GPs already have a heavy workload and asking them to add commissioning mental health treatments on to their to do lists will be an extra burden. It’s crucial that these new responsibilities don’t cut the amount of time they spend talking to patients.”
For more information on changes to the NHS you can visit the Department of Health website.