GPs at forefront of delivering mental health care during pandemic, says RCGP

The Royal College of GPs has responded to new ONS figures on depression in adults

Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Today’s figures show the impact the pandemic has had on many patients’ mental health – and GPs and our teams are on the front line of caring for them. We see in our surgeries both the direct mental health impact of the pandemic on patients who may have had COVID-19 or are suffering with longer term symptoms of the virus – and the indirect impact, for example on those who have mental health problems associated with the social and/or economic impact of lockdown restrictions.

“The increasing numbers of patients presenting mental health conditions is one example of the increasing complexity of GP work during the pandemic – and highlights the need for GPs to have more time with their patients. General practice is busier than ever – with figures showing we made almost 15m consultations in March, up 20% on February, as well as leading the COVID vaccination programme, with 75% of vaccinations being delivered in primary care.

“GPs and our teams are forefront of helping communities recover from the pandemic, including ensuring patients receive the mental health care they need. To do this, our profession needs the support of government and policy makers – we urgently need to see plans to address the intense workload and workforce pressures facing general practice, so that we can continue delivering the care our patients need and deserve.”

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