'Speed up psychosis diagnosis' says RCGP

Early diagnosis of psychosis in young people is as important as early detection of cancer, latest guidance suggests.

The guidance, issued by the RCGP and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, has called for GPs to speed up their diagnosis of psychosis in the light of growing evidence that supports early symptom recognition.

Eighty per cent of cases of psychosis start between the ages of 16-30. Within this age group there is a 10 per cent chance lifetime risk of suicide and a 12 per cent chance that sufferers will end up unemployed.

But early intervention has been shown to halve the risk of suicide and double the chances of finding employment.

Consequently, the guidance states that early diagnosis of psychosis is akin to the early presentation of cancer.

The guidance recommends that GPs should look for early symptoms of psychosis such as poor sleep, social withdrawal and early psychotic thinking.

GPs are warned not to simply dismiss the symptoms as adolescence, but be prepared to keep a watching brief.

Once the presence of psychotic symptoms has been established, GPs should refer patients to specialists for assessment of potential psychosis.

Tyneside GP Dr Dave Tomson, who has an interest in mental health and is from North Shields, dismissed fears that achieving earlier diagnosis of psychosis in young children would increase the workload in an area in which GPs were already struggling.

GPs in England scored 60 per cent of available quality points for the management of patients with schizophrenia or other psychoses, according to quality figures for 2006/7.


Psychosis guidance

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Vaccination tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK have led the largest-ever NHS vaccination programme in response...

RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall

Hand PCNs control of primary care infrastructure funding, says RCGP

CCG funding for primary care infrastructure should be handed to PCNs when the bodies...

Professor Martin Marshall and Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall

Talking General Practice speaks to RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul

In-house review not enough to stop 'unjust' GMC referrals, warns BMA

Doctors' leaders have repeated calls for a full independent review of the GMC referral...


How widespread is long COVID in the UK?

Millions of people in the UK are living with long COVID. GPonline looks at the data...

COVID-19 vaccination sign

GP contract for autumn COVID-19 booster campaign due shortly

GP practices in England will be invited shortly to sign up for the COVID-19 autumn...