§ Lady Olga Maitland
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what training is given to GPs in diagnosing schizophrenia.
§ Mr. Yeo
During basic medical education and vocational training, general practice trainees are trained to recognise psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. Of the three years of formal general practice vocational training, two years are hospital-based. During this lime over 40 per cent, of trainees currently choose a six-month period in a psychiatric department as a senior house officer.
Principals in general practice update and extend their knowledge of psychiatric disorders under the system of continuing education funded in all national health service regions.
All general practioners can refer patients for specialist attention both to confirm a diagnosis of schizophrenia and to obtain assistance in the management of this disorder.
Additionally community psychiatric nursing posts have been established in many districts to provide a psychiatric input into primary health care and can act as a resource for all members of the primary health care team, including GP trainees.