Log In
Tuesday 25th June 2019

Patients to self-refer to psychological therapies

31st May 2011

New guidance from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has said patients should be encouraged by GPs to refer themselves for psychological therapies.


However, experts have warned that this could put too much pressure on over-stretched services.

The NICE guidelines said that while the 'vast majority' of depressive and anxiety disorders diagnoses were made in primary care, 'recognition of anxiety disorders by GPs is particularly poor, and only a small minority of people who experience anxiety disorders ever receive treatment'.

NICE said this was partly caused by GPs having difficulty in identifying the disorders and said they should be aware of potential anxiety disorders, in addition to depression.

The guidance also said that patients were usually treated with psychotropic medication in primary care, 'due to the limited availability of psychological interventions'.

Dr Chris Manning, a former GP and chief executive of Primary Care Mental Health and Education, said he he was in favour with the idea of patients self-referring for mental health problems, but it would place a strain on the current system.

He said: "The system isn’t even coping at the moment. But the solution is to work more at community level, so patients have more options than just NHS providers. We need to be thinking much more broadly about local choice and diversity of services for patients."


Share this page


siew allen

Wednesday 8th June 2011 @ 18:04

I like to hear more about Dr Manning's thoughts about more local choices and diversity for patients who have potential anxiety or depressive disorders. If he is thinking that patients should avail themselves to complementary health therapies like acupuncture, homeopathy, etc then he could be on the right track.

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Mayden - Innovative cloud-based applications for healthcare
© Mayden Foundation 2019