As part of the governments NHS shakeup the responsibility of commissioning services and handling budgets will shift from primary care trusts to GP’s.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind has already commented on how this change could affect mental health services, but even more recently two polls of family doctors have revealed that an overwhelming number don’t feel confident and able enough to take on the responsibility of providing a good health service for those with mental illness.
The first poll, conducted by charity Rethink, found that over three-quarters of GP’s did not feel they were qualified for the role where mental health was concerned, yet feel confident they can provide for those with conditions such as diabetes.
In addition to this a second survey involving 232 doctors was conducted by doctors.net. This study found that two thirds of those questioned did not welcome the changes with four fifths expressing they did not feel adequately qualified.
The shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has said the changes will turn the system into a ‘postcode lottery’ with the most vulnerable being the most effected.