North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) has joined with seven other NSW primary health networks to fund a psychiatry support line for GPs to access specialist advice for people under their care.
The GP Psychiatry Support Line is free to use and connects GPs with a psychiatrist who can provide advice on diagnosis, investigation, medication and safety plans.
The service is not about triaging or referring people to a mental health professional, but rather supporting those whose conditions are able to be treated within primary care under the care of their GP.
The support line is being launched this month and is available exclusively to GPs who practise within the NCPHN region, from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie.
NCPHN’s Chief Executive Ms Julie Sturgess explained the decision behind the funding of this new mental health service.
“The findings of our 2018 Needs Assessment highlighted community concerns about the difficulty of accessing psychiatrists and doctors with specific mental health knowledge in our region.
“The GP Psychiatry Support Line will ensure that our GPs have timely access to experienced psychiatrists. It’s expected that more than 200 practitioners will take advantage of the new service to enhance the care they provide to people with a diagnosis of mental ill-health,” she said.
Testimonials from GPs who’ve used the GP Psychiatry Support Line in other regions:
- “I have spoken with one of your psychiatrists and found his advice extremely helpful. Mental health forms such a huge part of our daily workload as GPs and it’s very comforting to know we can access high quality advice from an expert in such a timely fashion.”
- “I was in doubt what to do with this patient and wanted urgent answers on the control of her illness. It is a great service for a rural GP like me.”
GPs Can Register Now To Start Using This Service
Register online at www.gpsupport.org.au or call 1800 16 17 18 for registration help. You will need your AHPRA registration number handy.
NCPHN staff will also be visiting general practices and Aboriginal Medical Services to provide information about how to register for and access this new service.