STRUCTURE: The trust is piloting a new service to offer local GPs access to specialist mental health advice.

Board papers explain that staff from the trust’s Working Age Mental Health Recovery Services and charity Health in Mind have worked together to develop an initiative aimed at supporting GPs in East Sussex to easily access specialist advice from a consultant psychiatrist.

Under the scheme, which is being piloted from this month, GPs will be able to book a telephone consultation for specialist support from consultant psychiatrists about patients presenting with mental health symptoms.

The papers state: “It is hoped this new service will support GPs and their Health in Mind Primary Mental Health Worker to manage patients in primary care, foster shared care and collaborative working practices between clinicians, and prevent unnecessary referrals to secondary care.”

The new service development was due to start as a pilot this month, initially in the Hastings and Rother area. It will be evaluated in September “with a view to being expanded across the whole county by October”, the trust said.