Kent GPs call for more mental health staff support amid Covid

GPs at the virtual meeting

By Local Democracy Reporter Ciaran Duggan

Kent NHS bosses have been called on to provide more mental health staff to support GP doctors.

The coronavirus crisis has prompted a growing demand for mental health services across the UK.

Calls have been made to increase the number of practitioners to support GPs, whose 13 districts including Medway, have a population of around 1.8million.

Bill Millar, who is the director of primary care at Kent and Medway CCG, said extra funding was being made available for GPs as the NHS seeks to broaden the workforce to include more specialist roles. Costs have not been disclosed.

Three new roles were created last month, including mental health practitioners, advanced practitioners and community paramedics.

It comes as the county’s GP surgeries have seen a rising demand for mental health services since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic last March.

Two months ago, a £51 million package to transform mental health services across Kent by 2026 was unveiled.

The “ambitious” NHS plan will seek to radically improve care for dementia patients, including those with complex needs and challenging behaviour.

Earlier today, Mr Millar told the CCG’s primary care committee: “We have explained to all practices that additional support is being made available.”

Thanet GP Dr Suzi Marsden said more resources would help to relieve the “blockage” of not having enough mental health clinicians at the surgeries.

Dr Marsden, of the Grange Practice in Ramsgate, revealed that she has been keeping track of patients every four to eight weeks that are struggling to cope.

She added: “I hope we are able to speed up the process for filling roles to get mental health practical support in GPs.

“I would like to make more appointments available for other patients. It would be great to see some progress in this soon.”

A survey carried out by the Royal College of GPs last year said one in six patients in Kent felt their mental health problems were unrecognised.

At the time, they called for longer appointment slots and more resources to be made available for overworked staff during the pandemic.


  1. This is the outcome of what is outlined in Laura Dodsworth’s new book – A State of Fear. She outlines how fear has been weaponised by the government’s behavioural scientists (The Behavioural Insight Team, Brigade 77 etc) to control the masses over the last fourteen months or so. These fear stories have been fed to the mainstream media, with no balancing views at all from other medical and scientific experts (heavily censored). The trauma from the mass hypnosis of some is clear to see now. This is mind control pure and simple for those who have studied it. It is a crime against humanity as the developing court cases globally are showing. There is a similar pattern across the world and many are now calling it out.

  2. Getting a face to face appointment with a GP would be a start.

    Are there any GP’s at their Surgery’s, or are they all working from home?

    GP’s can’t blame Covid as you couldn’t get an appointment long before.

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