New research from Aviva UK Health suggests that better support services and a change in patient attitude are essential if the provision of care for mental health patients is to be improved.
While the quality of care for patients with physical conditions such as cancer and heart disease is felt to have improved in recent years, nearly three in five GPs feel that the quality of care provided by the NHS for mental health issues is poor.
This clearly demonstrates that a focused approach from the Government on healthcare issues can pay dividends. With nearly half of GPs saying that stress and mental health conditions will be the biggest health issues that they will treat in 2011, now is the time for the spotlight to be turned to mental health. Half feel that they need more support from employers to help prevent workplace stress.
Over a quarter of GPs say that it is hard to help patients with mental health problems because there is little access to support services in their area and over half say the lack of support for patients is their key health concern. While two out of three GPs only recommend tablets such as anti-depressants when they are a viable solution, over a third admit to prescribing pills as a quick-win solution when patients face long waiting lists for support. Counselling is a popular alternative.