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GPNs urged to contribute to mental health skills review

GPNs urged to contribute to mental health skills review

Primary care workers across England have been invited to provide their views on an education and training framework that sets out the skills required to effectively respond to patients with mental health needs.

The national Mental Health Core Capabilities Framework, originally developed in 2016, is now open for review and public consultation.

According to not-for-profit organisation Skills for Health, which is leading the process, the review has been prompted by ‘the integrated care agenda and growing emphasis on population health’.

Dawn Probert, senior consultant for Skills for Health, said: ‘The original framework was very health focused and didn’t fully reflect the core capabilities required today by a range of people and services across different organisations.

‘Against the backdrop of growing national demand for mental health services, a refresh of the core capabilities framework is timely.’

According to Ms Probert, the review is of particular relevance to practice staff, especially as patients with mental health care needs often present to primary care services due to a lack of visible alternatives.

‘All primary care staff, whether receptionists, administrators, practice nurses or GPs increasingly interact with individuals with mental health needs [but] they aren’t always best placed to provide effective care for patients,’ she said.

‘That being so, the consultation represents a concrete first step toward addressing these issues by identifying the skills and training required to develop a more holistic and person-centred approach to supporting mental health across the board.’

The consultation has been launched in partnership with Hampshire and Isle of Wight (HIOW) Integrated Care Board and is open until 11 November.

Liz Skeat, head of workforce transformation for HIOW, said: ‘We have received consistent feedback from colleagues that mental health skills and training have not kept pace with the transformation and change in demand.

‘We are therefore proud to be spearheading this national piece of work in partnership with Skills for Health and NHS England to enable skills development and care improvements across the country.’

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