General Practice Alliance are delighted to announce that the Integrated Depression Pathway Project is a Health Service Journal finalist in their NHS Partnership Awards!

The management of depression has a significant health gap with only around 30% of people getting evidence-based treatment despite depression being the major cause of disability, most common cause of death under 35 and a major cause of work absence. The pathway aims to bring together a Biopsychosocial approach to depression, realising we need this combined approach overcoming stigma and gaps in the pathway. The project has brought a workforce approach for pharmacists, improved Access to psychological therapists, social prescribing link workers, public health and voluntary sector colleagues, together in partnership with GP practices.

This open and honest partnership created a listening and supportive environment. This in turn provided the opportunity for each service to learn and grow together, trying new ways of working without fear of failure. The approach and goal was to improve the lives of those suffering from depression in Northampton through a biopsychosocial model.

The promotion of Action for Happiness (https://www.actionforhappiness.org) and the 10 Keys to Happier Living runs through the whole pathway, giving a strong framework across the sectors. This framework has benefits to health and care staff well-being, as well as for patients. Dr David Smart, who led on this project, stated “Early recognition and management of depression has not had the attention it deserves. Progression to an Integrated Care System overcomes previous boundaries of different commissioners. In view of the excellent treatment resistant depression services locally, we have a real opportunity to become an exemplar site for a partnership approach to depression management.”

“This is going to be especially relevant in view of the ravages of COVID, an opportunity to build back better with potential for national renewal, which we need as a nation”, added Danial Kane, Chief Executive of General Practice Alliance. “The Integrated Depression Pathway is a testament to collaborative working at a place-based level. The partnership approach has developed closer working relations across providers and commissioners, allowing partners to address barriers and overcome organisational boundaries, placing patients at the centre and designing the service to provide holistic approach to the management of common mood disorders.”

HSJ Finalists 2021

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