Centre for Health Services Studies

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A project to evaluate the new primary care mental health specialist (PCMHS) role, currently being piloted across the majority of NHS CCG areas in Kent and Medway.

The PCMHS role has been introduced as it has been identified that the care of some patients with stable long term mental health needs could potentially be managed more effectively in the primary care setting. This change could also help to free up secondary care services for those with greater need and could be a more cost effective way of providing care.

The purpose of  the role is to identify appropriate patients to move from secondary to primary care and offer support to patients in the transition from receiving care from secondary care community teams to using GP provided services. The role also involves supporting GPs and other GP practice staff to provide appropriate care to these patients and to those newly presenting with potential mental health problems, through one-to-one advice and training.  

The evaluation will assess the impact of the change in service by interviewing the specialists and capturing the experiences of patients.  Carers’ views and experiences will also be sought and additional assessment will be undertaken from service records and from primary care and secondary care health professionals. The difference in costs and value for money around this new way of delivering the service will also be considered.

Start date: 01/06/2013 End date: 31/12/2014

Funder: NHS Kent and Medway, supported by Kent and Medway Commissioning Support.

Funding: £30,000


Evaluation of the Primary Care Mental Health Specialist role: Final Report

The role of a practitioner health psychologist in a primary care mental health service. (in press).

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Who is involved


Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

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Last Updated: 28/04/2015