Many people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar have minimal and poorly co-ordinated primary and specialist care. PARTNERS2 is a five year study which aims to develop and trial an innovative primary care based model of collaborative care for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar. PARTNERS2 aims to help primary care (GPs and Practices Nurses) and community mental health services (also called CMHTs) work more closely together by developing a system of collaborative care based in GP surgeries.
Currently within the NHS there is a general move to shift the focus of care for many groups, including mental health, from secondary to primary care. Although primary care provides support to people with mental health problems, the coordination with secondary care is challenging in many areas of the country. Service users feedback that some GPs do not contain sufficient specialist knowledge to support schizophrenia and bipolar; practitioners report the same knowledge and skills gap in primary care. The PARTNERS2 intervention aims to address these difficulties by agreeing and addressing individuals’ emotional, social and physical needs in a co-ordinated way by placing a secondary care practitioner within general practice in order to enhance primary mental health care provision and deliver better outcomes for individuals and their families.
The new service intervention is now entering a testing phase where three practitioner teams will implement the intervention in a ‘practice run’. We will encourage people to make changes to the intervention and feedback to us on why changes are made and perceived success of these adaptations in order to deliver both the principles of collaborative care and improvements in outcomes for individuals.
To get involved or for more information on current opportunities within the programme, please contact Dr Humera Plappert