Patients suffering with depression can be hard to spot, practitioners are recommended in several guidelines by NICE to screen for depression, yet often feel that they lack the skills to do this confidently, worrying that they will say the wrong thing, or be out of their depth; worrying about how to safely assess the patient within the time that they have available, how to screen for self-harm, and what to do next.
The National Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths says that all clinical staff must undertake regular, written, documented and audited training for the identification, initial management and referral for serious medical and mental health conditions which, although unrelated to pregnancy, may affect pregnant women or recently delivered mothers.
So all GP’s, Obstetricians, Midwives, Health Visitors, Practice Nurses, Nursery Nurses, and related staff have a professional duty to undertake such training. Their managers have a duty to provide the training. In the East of England we have commissioned 1,000 places of face to face training (available until April 2011, by clicking on here , this is complimented by the training day being duplicated as a high quality online learning resource.
This online E Learning package is in a readily accessible format that is free to access. It is pitched at a level suitable for staff with little formal training in mental health, although staff of any experience will find the approaches recommended useful enhancements to their clinical skills.
The E Learning package on depression and self-help materials are available to any NHS employee in the East of England, free of charge, until April 2015. They may also be used by related services, such as county council ‘books on prescription’ schemes. Access to all the materials is achieved by registering on the training site www.nhseoe.fiveareastraining.com
The training includes the following modules; it complies with the latest NICE guidance.
Module 1: Seeing the whole person
Module 2: Why do I feel so bad?
Module 3: Depression - the silent killer
Module 4: Asking the Whooley Questions and completing a PHQ 9
Module 5: What if there is a past history of mental disorder?
Module 6: Offering support
Module 7: Scoring and responding to the PHQ scores
The website also provides access to a variety of free practitioner support materials, such as patient worksheets.
We suggest that as a first step you register as a student on the website, so you can do the training if you wish, access the self-help materials, and print Patient Login Prescriptions, which include an automatically generated individual username and password for your patient (or library user).
NHS East of England Five Area Training
NHS East of England Five Area Training Quick Reference Guide
Mental Health Services for Children and Young People in Suffolk
NHS Wellbeing Service
The Self Help Materials