Mas­sive use of an­tide­pres­sants shown in shock new fig­ures

Macclesfield Express - - BOSLEY TRAGEDY - STU­ART GREER

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

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