17 March 2017

Report Highlights Extra Resources GPs Need to Carry Out Further Training in Managing Suicide Risk, Says RCGP

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP, has responded to an inquiry into adult suicide by the Health Select Committee.

She said: “Patients identified at high risk of suicide need specialist care and given the delicate nature of their wellbeing, cases must be managed appropriately to secure their safety first and foremost. 
“While mental health is a key component of the RCGP training curriculum for all GP trainees, this report highlights the extra support and resources GPs need, so they can carry out further training in managing suicide risks – not just during GP training but throughout their career. 
"More, appropriate training that can help us to deliver the best possible care for our patients is always welcome, and the College has long called for GP training to be extended to four years to include a mandatory specialist-led placement in mental health – and today's report support this call.
“GPs and our teams are often the first port of call for patients with mental health problems, and given the complex nature of these conditions, it sometimes isn't possible within the constraints of the standard 10-minute consultation for GPs to make a definitive diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate form of treatment. 
"Mental health is an enduring priority for the College, and ultimately what is necessary is for substantially more investment in general practice and more GPs so we can offer longer consultations to those patients who really need them.  
“It is also vital  that we have a greater quantity of mental health services in the community, and for GPs and their teams to have better, easier and quicker access to these, in the best interests of our patients.”

 Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7581
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.