Massive use of antidepressants shown in shock new figures
SHOCKING figures reveal the use of antidepressants in Macclesfield is more than 25 per cent higher than the national average.
Some 1,250 prescriptions for the drugs were written in the constituency in 2014 for every 1,000 people registered with a GP. That means one and a quarter packets of antidepressants for every man, woman and child in the area. The national average is 996 prescriptions of antidepressants for every 1,000 GP patients.
The data emerged in a new parliamentary research paper lodged in the House of Commons.
Clive Phillips, secretary of the Macclesfield branch of mental health charity Mind, blamed welfare reforms for increased mental health problems and said the system for ‘talking therapies’ such a cognitive behavioural therapy is ‘overwhelmed’. He said: “Recovery can be a long journey and antidepressants a necessary habit and repeat prescription cause. Some years ago Improved Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) was introduced to speed up access to ‘talking treatments’.
“Unfortunately the IAPT service is overwhelmed and the delays are as long as they used to be for a referral to Secondary Care. More people are dependent upon antidepressants alone again.”
NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG, which runs GP surgeries in the town, said while rates are above the national average, prescribing in Eastern Cheshire is lower than in most other areas in the region. A spokesman added: “Improving mental health services is a key priority for the CCG, and the CCG has invested over the last two years an additional £1.5m in funding towards improving access to mental health services and to address the inherited historic under funding of such services.
“The CCG continues to invest in innovative ways to improve mental wellbeing, including a self-referral system to enable people experiencing depression to access help more quickly, and a new online therapeutic service. We will continue working with our partners to create an environment that is supportive of all mental health requirements and will always strive to improve the mental wellbeing of everyone.”
This week Macclesfield MP David Rutley is meeting with the CCG and the Cheshire Wirral Partnership, which is responsible for mental health treatment in Macclesfield, to discus issues around mental health.
●● David Rutley MP and Clare Hayward (left) from Make It Macclesfield with Naturally Different owners Elizabeth and Stephen Hirst