GP response to patient mental health to inform practice CQC rating

GPs' response to patients' mental health crises will form part of a practice's CQC rating, according to a government-led agreement on dealing with acute mental health episodes.

The concordat sets out the level of care and treatment that people with severe mental health problems can expect
The concordat sets out the level of care and treatment that people with severe mental health problems can expect

The Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat, published today, is a joint pledge, signed by 22 bodies, to improve the quality of care for people with acute mental health episodes.

Among these is an agreement that the CQC, one of the signatories, will include treatment of mental health crises in its ratings for all healthcare bodies.

The concordat sets out the level of care and treatment that people with severe mental health problems can expect when in crisis, after crisis, and in preventing crises. It also outlines how the various signatories, including police forces, social services representatives, government, and healthcare organisations can implement improvements.

The RCGP is among the signatories of the concordat, and it has promised to appoint an RCGP mental health clinical lead, and to ‘support, develop and improve GPs’ knowledge and experience of management of severe mental illness, including physical health and crisis care’, through an updated RCGP curriculum statement for mental health.

The college has also pledged to work with CCGs’ mental health clinical leads to improve commissioning for mental health crisis care as well as the physical health of people with severe mental illness, and to improve joint working between primary care and other mental health services.

The RCGP has also said it will work with other bodies, including the Royal College of Psychiatrists, to commission better services for patients with both mental health and substance abuse issues.

The college also pledged to improve GP trainees’ management of severe mental illness through its extended training proposals.

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