Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services offer treatment to people experiencing a first episode of psychosis. Service users may be referred from primary care and discharged directly back at the end of their time in an EIP service. AIM: To explore the role of primary care in supporting EIP service users (SUs) and to understand how to improve collaboration between primary and specialist care. METHOD: Qualitative study comprising semi-structured interviews with SUs, carers, healthcare professionals (HCPs), managers, and commissioners. Interviews were conducted either online or by telephone. Thematic analysis was carried out using principles of constant comparison. Patient and public involvement were key to all stages, including data analysis. RESULTS: In total, 55 interviews were conducted with SUs (n = 13), carers (n = 10), and GPs, EIP HCPs, managers, and commissioners (n = 33). GPs reported difficulties in referring people into EIP services and little contact with SUs while in EIP services, even about physical health. GPs suggested they were not included in planning discharge from EIP to primary care. SUs and carers reported that transition from EIP can lead to uncertainty, distress, and exacerbation of symptoms. GPs reported only being made aware of patients on or after discharge, with no contact for 3 years. GPs described difficulty managing complex medication regimes, and barriers to re-referral to mental health services. CONCLUSION: GPs have a key role in supporting people within EIP services, specifically monitoring and managing physical health. Inclusion of GPs in planning discharge from EIP services is vital.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Gen Pract

Publication Date





Humans, Primary Health Care, Psychotic Disorders, Qualitative Research, Early Medical Intervention, Referral and Consultation, Male, Female, Mental Health Services, Attitude of Health Personnel, Adult, Caregivers