Health system changes needed to support people consulting general practice out of hours services in Ireland.
AffiliationIrish College of General Practitioners
Out of hours
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JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Systems
AbstractMental illness acts as a barrier to accessing and obtaining effective medical care. It has been shown that out of hours services are an important first stop for emergency care for people experiencing mental health difficulties. However, little is in fact known about the use of out of hours general practice services by people experiencing mental health difficulties. To establish the number and range of consultations that have a primary or related mental health issue attending general practitioner (GP) out of hours and to document adherence to their follow-up care referral. Descriptive study in one large out of hours primary care service in the South East of Ireland (Caredoc). An anonymous extraction of retrospective data from 1 year of the out of hours' electronic database was undertaken. Patients who attended the out of hours with a possible mental health issue and were referred to the psychiatric services or back to their own GP, were tracked via phone follow-up with hospitals and GPs over 6 months to establish if they attended for the recommend follow-up care.
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