The impact of delivering GP training on the clinical high risk and first-episode psychosis on referrals and pathways to care
This project explored the impact of a general practitioner (GP) training programme on referrals and pathways to care for people at high clinical risk of psychosis or with a first-episode psychosis. The resources needed to deliver the training were measured to help inform other teams considering this approach. Satisfaction with the training was also explored.
All of the GP (48) practices in the London Borough of Southwark were approached. Presentations were given on the symptoms of a clinical high-risk state and the first signs of psychosis alongside information on how to access the teams. Referrals to the prodromal and first-episode teams 6 months before and after the training were recorded. Resources needed to deliver the training in terms of staff time were recorded. A questionnaire on attendees' satisfaction with the training was given.
Sixty per cent of eligible practices received education. On average, it took 2 h for every two staff members each to deliver the training. Over the 12-month period, the teams received 148 referrals. The training led to a significant increase in referrals to the two specialized teams and a significant increase in direct referrals to the teams from GPs. Attendees were satisfied with the training.
This study indicates that GP education programmes are a viable and acceptable way of increasing the identification of young people at high clinical risk for psychosis or with a first-episode psychosis and increasing direct referrals to specialist teams.