As it stands family GPs can enjoy £1bn worth of financial incentives for ensuring they “account for high-quality care”. However, under new plans detailed in the Government’s mental health strategy, by 2013 15 per cent (£150m) of that bonus pot will be focussed on prevention in mental health.
It has been announced that if GPs want their bonuses they will have to work hard at identifying problems in adults and children that would reduce the risk of depression and other mental health problems.
A report which accompanied the strategy has also detailed seven mental health early intervention programmes, ranging from helping children with conduct disorders through to talking therapies and debt advice schemes. These schemes would cost an estimated £2.55bn but would create £4.54bn in savings and an additional £4.85bn in benefits over a 26 year period.
There is a particular focus on targeting children with these early prevention schemes, as half of mental health problems start before the age of 14.