Building on the foundations laid by the Clinical Priority Programme in Perinatal Mental Health, the RCGP is running a 1-year Spotlight Project focused on GP team education in this small but very important part of our work in General Practice. Educational resources to help GPs and their colleagues improve their care of patients with Perinatal Mental Health problems have been developed as part of the Clinical Priority Programme but general awareness of these amongst Team GP is low.
Projects such as the Perinatal Mental Health Toolkit http://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/toolkits/perinatal-mental-health-toolkit.aspx have been well received but remain underutilised and illustrate the challenge of cascading key messages from the innovative work in the RCGP to front line GPs.
The role of the GP Champion has been seen to work well in other areas such as Dementia, Physical Activity and Cancer but could this be an effective model for improving Mental Health care within General Practice? The potential reach and impact of a GP Champion in Perinatal Mental Health is therefore well worth exploring when up to 1:5 women and 1:10 men affected by problems during this time and up to 50% of cases go undetected.
This pilot is supported by Wessex Clinical Network and covers a region of 2.8 million patients served by almost 300 practices and 3000 GPs. The team have ambitious objectives to reach at least 50% of practices and at least 50% of the population with this work and this will be through a variety of communications and teaching methods. These include small group teaching, larger audience talks, e learning modules and even a webinar in January.
The team is being led by Dr Carrie Ladd, RCGP Clinical Champion in Perinatal Mental Health, and 4 regional GP Champions were recruited to the team over the summer – Dr Maddy Ford, Dr David Hogan, Dr Penny Wilson and Dr Jenny Rattray. The project has received much interest from stakeholders in the Wessex region as well as several areas outside Wessex so watch this space for further news of developments in this exciting project!
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