IPS Women

British Psychological Society funds research into the effectiveness of clinical psychologists working in primary care

12 December 2018

The British Psychological Society, through the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP), has awarded a grant to an innovative group of clinical psychologists, to fund the evaluation of the impact that clinical psychology can have in primary care settings.

More than a quarter of people who visit their GP in the UK every day have problems which are primarily psychological rather than physical, but they do not always receive access to the care that they need.

In three development sites, Catterick, Bradford and Shropshire, clinical psychologists have been working alongside GPs in primary care, designing new ways of supporting people and new models of delivery.

Growing pressure in the NHS and a national shortage of GPs highlights the need to develop different approaches to meeting people’s needs, and the evaluation of the work at these sites will identify new alternatives and opportunities.

The three sites are supported by the local DCP branches in the North East of England, Yorkshire and Humber, and the West Midlands, and led by Cathy Byard (Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust), Dr Suzanne Heywood-Everett (Bradford District Care Foundation NHS Trust) and Dr Vannessa Tobin (Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust) respectively.

The grant will fund Centre for Mental Health, a leading mental health charity at the forefront of service evaluation, to assess and analyse the care delivered and the cost effectiveness of this work. It is expected to end in February 2019, with a report published later in the year.

Graham Durcan, Centre for Mental Health, said:

We are delighted to be evaluating these innovative primary care psychology services to find what impact it has in primary care settings and on the people who receive the support, with the hope of replicating what works across the country.

The evaluation is being carried out in association with an ongoing piece of work that Birmingham University has commissioned from Centre for Mental Health.

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