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Duty of care

It is important for GPs to consider duty of care when managing patients with severe mental illness. Responsibility for managing a particular individual’s care may at times be transferred between primary care and state or privately funded specialist services, particularly given the episodic nature of some severe mental illnesses.

Given the potential vulnerability of these patients, where a patient is transferred to another service, a duty of care exists for the commissioned service and referring GP to ensure that the receiving service has accepted care of the patient and is aware of their needs.

If a patient is in immediate danger, call 000. If you have any concerns or questions around this issue, contact your medical defence provider.


Working with the Stepped Care Model