Aiming to improve the quality of primary mental health care: Developing an intervention for underserved communities

Carolyn Chew-Graham, Heather Burroughs, Derek Hibbert, Linda Gask, Susan Beatty, Katja Gravenhorst, Waquas Waheed, Marija Kovandžić, Mark Gabbay, Chris Dowrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The purpose of the study was to improve the quality of primary mental healthcare in underserved communities through involvement with the wider primary care team members and local community agencies. Methods. We developed training intended for all GP practice staff which included elements of knowledge transfer, systems review and active linking. Seven GP Practices in four localities (North West England, UK) took part in the training. Qualitative evaluation was conducted using thirteen semi-structured interviews and two focus groups in six of the participating practices; analysis used principles of Framework Analysis. Results: Staff who had engaged with the training programme reported increased awareness, recognition and respect for the needs of patients from under-served communities. We received reports of changes in style and content of interactions, particularly amongst receptionists, and evidence of system change. In addition, the training program increased awareness of - and encouraged signposting to - community agencies within the practice locality. Conclusions: This study demonstrates how engaging with practices and delivering training in a changing health care system might best be attempted. The importance of engaging with community agencies is clear, as is the use of the AMP model as a template for further research. © 2014 Chew-Graham et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Article number68
JournalBMC Family Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2014


  • Mental health
  • Primary care
  • Underserved populations


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