What could make a difference to the mental health of UK doctors?: A review of the research evidence –

Society of Occupational Medicine, October 2018

Report that finds the incidence of mental health problems among doctors is increasing alongside the growing demands and diminishing resources experienced in the healthcare sector. GPs, trainee and junior doctors appear to be particularly vulnerable, experiencing distress and burnout early in their career.  The stigma associated with disclosing mental health problems and ‘a failure to cope’ revealed in the report mean that many doctors are reluctant to seek help as they fear sanctions and even job loss.

Click here to view the full report.

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Health and Care of People with Learning Disabilities

NHS Equality and Diversity Forum, April 2017

This interactive report investigates the potential differences in the treatment, health status, and outcomes of people with learning disabilities.

The report found that:

  • On average, females with learning disabilities had around an 18 year shorter life expectancy than the general population, and males had around a 14 year shorter life expectancy than the general population
  • The percentage of patients known to their GP as having a learning disability who received an annual learning disability health check increased to 46 per cent from 43 per cent in 2014-15
  • Obesity is twice as common in people aged 18-35 with learning disabilities, being underweight is twice as common in people aged over 64 with learning disabilities, compared with patients with no learning disabilities
  • 3 in 4 eligible patients with a learning disability received colorectal cancer screening, an increase from just over 2 in 3 in 2014-15

Click here to access the report.

Medical professionalism matters report

General Medical Council, December 2016

This report is the culmination of 18 months of events and conversations with the medical profession, from GPs, consultants and trainees who work on the ground, to royal colleges, training providers and employers.

As is widely acknowledged many doctors feel the current environment is the most challenging of their careers, as the pressures of day-to-day practice rise with the often conflicting demands of doctors’ employers and the patients they care for.

Among the most frequently raised issues during the seven UK-wide events were the lack of time and support to make a reality of reflective practice – at every stage of a doctor’s career. Doctors also cited problems around professional isolation, fragmentation of care for patients and poor communication.

Click here to read the full report.

GPs and pharmacists invited to webinars on £15 million clinical pharmacy pilot scheme

NHS England, August 2015

NHS England, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and other partners in the GP Workforce 10 Point Plan are organising a series of webinars and events to help GP practices and pharmacists understand more about its clinical pharmacists in general practice pilot.

This innovative new scheme will introduce around 250 clinical pharmacists into general practices. GP practices and group of practices are invited to bid for funding as part of the £15 million pilot.

Click here for further information.

Dementia: GPs say patchy services fail patients

BBC News, 6 July 2015

Doctors have raised fresh concerns about the level of support people with dementia and their carers get from the NHS and social services in the UK.

And the Royal College of GPs says until the situation improves, doctors will have to weigh up whether there is any advantage in early diagnosis…

Click here to view the full story.

Integrated primary care for patients with mental and physical multimorbidity: cluster randomised controlled trial of collaborative care for patients with depression comorbid with diabetes or cardiovascular disease

BMJ, 16 February 2015

The objective of this study was to test the effectiveness of an integrated collaborative care model for people with depression and long term physical conditions.

The design of the study was a  cluster randomised controlled trial in 36 general practices in the north west of England.

 Collaborative care included patient preference for behavioural activation, cognitive restructuring, graded exposure, and/or lifestyle advice, management of drug treatment, and prevention of relapse. Up to eight sessions of psychological treatment were delivered by specially trained psychological wellbeing practitioners employed by Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services in the English National Health Service; integration of care was enhanced by two treatment sessions delivered jointly with the practice nurse. Usual care was standard clinical practice provided by general practitioners and practice nurses.

19 general practices were randomised to collaborative care and 20 to usual care; three practices withdrew from the trial before patients were recruited. 191 patients were recruited from practices allocated to collaborative care, and 196 from practices allocated to usual care. After adjustment for baseline depression score, mean depressive scores were 0.23 SCL-D13 points lower (95% confidence interval −0.41 to −0.05) in the collaborative care arm, equal to an adjusted standardised effect size of 0.30. Patients in the intervention arm also reported being better self managers, rated their care as more patient centred, and were more satisfied with their care. There were no significant differences between groups in quality of life, disease specific quality of life, self efficacy, disability, and social support.

The study concludes that collaborative care that incorporates brief low intensity psychological therapy delivered in partnership with practice nurses in primary care can reduce depression and improve self management of chronic disease in people with mental and physical multimorbidity. The size of the treatment effects were modest and were less than the prespecified effect but were achieved in a trial run in routine settings with a deprived population with high levels of mental and physical multimorbidity.

Click here to read the full text article.

Learning disability GP health checks ‘show results’

BBC News, 3 January 2014

A scheme getting GPs to offer health checks to patients with learning disabilities in England is helping to pick up problems, research suggests.

A study in Lancet Psychiatry, looking at data for more than 8,000 patients, found surgeries in the scheme were twice as likely to identify problems…

Click here to view the full story.