Interviews with 20 GPs and 14 health visitors across nine PCTs in Bristol, London and Manchester revealed that both groups of health professionals believed the other was responsible, a study in this month's British Journal of General Practice (BJGP) says.
Many of the health visitors interviewed said management of postnatal depression was ‘no longer part of their work' or had fallen down the list of priorities because of child protection obligations, a focus on tackling childhood obesity, and corporate working - with caseloads being jointly managed by a team, rather than an individual.
But the change had created confusion among GPs who were ‘traditionally used to health visitors keeping in touch with and providing support to women'.
RCGP clinical champion for mental health Dr Carolyn Chew-Graham said: ‘Current policy is redirecting the emphasis of health visiting away from the management of postnatal depression.
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