GPs under pressure to treat child mental health

Glasgow LMC stated that Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) officers are requesting prescriptions for sedatives and tranquillisers, as well as medicine for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A proportion of these medicines are not licensed for use with children.

The situation in Glasgow has been aggravated due to the relocation of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children to a new site in south Glasgow, where the pharmacy struggles to handle the demands for prescriptions.

A Scottish Association for Mental health survey of 460 GPs, published last year, highlighted how half of the respondents had not undertaken mental health training in more than a year, and that one in ten had never done such training at all, despite 30 per cent of patient consultations have a mental health component.

Dr John Ip, medical secretary of Glasgow LMC, said: “We think that specialists should be prescribing these drugs and they should be issued by the pharmacy on the new site. This is safer than asking GPs who may have no previous experience of prescribing drugs for children with mental health needs.

“The LMC has highlighted this to try to stop it in its tracks. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has agreed with us that this should not happen anymore but we have written a section in our latest newsletter asking GPs to come forward if they are still experiencing it.”

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