Information for GPs
GP Mental Health Treatment Plans
What is involved in a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan?
In order for a GP to refer a client for psychological services under the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative, the GP must first complete a detailed assessment and diagnosis of the client. The GP must then prepare the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, which includes documenting results of the assessment, client’s needs, goals and actions, referrals and required treatment/services, and a review date. There is no particular form that is used for preparing the Mental Health Treatment Plan. Clients are encouraged to book a longer session with their GP if they are requesting a referral for psychological services, in order to enable the GP to complete the assessment and GP Mental Health Treatment Plan.
How often does a new GP Mental Health Treatment Plan have to be prepared?
Clients continue to be eligible for referred services while they continue to be managed by their GP under the relevant GP Mental Health Treatment Plan (through regular reviews by their GP). A new GP Mental Health Treatment Plan should not be prepared unless clinically required (there is a restriction of one GP Mental Health Treatment Plan per client in a 12-month period). Generally a new referral for further allied mental health services will be planned by the GP in a face-to-face consultation with the client. This could be as part of a review of the client’s Treatment Plan or as part of a normal consultation. In some instances the GP may consider that a separate consultation is not necessary (for example, having recently seen the client) and may consider that further allied mental health services are required based on their knowledge of the client and feedback from the treating provider. Decisions regarding referral for further services should be documented in the client’s record.
Does a client need a new GP Mental Health Treatment Plan to access further services in a subsequent calendar year?
Clients who are being managed by their GP under a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan who need to access further referred services during a new calendar year do not need to have a new Treatment Plan prepared (unless required by the client’s clinical condition, needs or circumstances). A new referral for allied mental health services may be provided by the GP in the new calendar year where a client has used all previously referred services and the GP considers that the client requires additional allied mental health services (up to the calendar year entitlement of 10 sessions). As noted above, it is not necessary to prepare a new Treatment Plan just to make a new referral for services.