A national study led by a psychiatrist at Camden and Islington NHS Trust and involving GPs across Camden and Islington, is underway to understand which patients would benefit from being prescribed anti-depressants and which might be better off without.
The number of antidepressant prescriptions in 2015 was almost 7% higher than the previous year, with the number having doubled since 2005 at an estimated cost to the NHS of £780,000 a day.
Led nationally by UCL and C&I Consultant Psychiatrist, Professor Glyn Lewis, the PANDA trial aims to provide better guidance to GPs and patients about when antidepressants might be beneficial.
Half the patients on the 12 week long study will begin, or continue with, antidepressant medication, with the other half being given an identical placebo.
Professor Lewis said: “There are now more than 50 million prescriptions each year for antidepressants in England.
These drugs are effective for some people, but in others they may be no better than a dummy pill or placebo. The PANDA study will provide better guidance on who will benefit.”
Professor Lewis and his team have so far recruited 330 patients but need a further 217 participants. Many GPs in Camden and Islington are already supporting the PANDA trial but Professor Lewis is keen for further practices to join, as well as encouraging those already engaged with PANDA to refer further patients.
The study reflects three key principles of the Trust’s new Clinical Strategy * which pledges to work in a recovery-orientated way, to offer evidence-based interventions and to grow our already strong interest in research.
Any GPs or patients interested in participating in the trial can contact Larisa Duffy, Trial Manager on: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 020 7679 9282.
* Our Clinical Strategy
At the heart of everything we do are the guiding principles contained in our new Clinical Strategy launched in March 2016
We will co-produce with our service users and carers their treatment and support
We will work in a recovery-orientated way
We will offer evidence-based interventions
We will choose outcomes that measure things that matter to service users and carers and use these to shape our services
We will integrate with other services so that service users have their mental, physical and social needs met in a coherent way
We will prevent mental illness deteriorating or relapsing in all our service users and we will contribute to initiatives that prevent mental health problems in children and young people
We will equip all our clinical staff to address drug and alcohol problems
We will improve access to our services for everyone regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and other protected characteristics
We will choose a quality improvement methodology and implement it
We will grow our already strong interest in research
We provide mental health and substance misuse services to people living in Camden and Islington, and a substance misuse and psychological therapies service to residents in Kingston.
We have two inpatient facilities, at Highgate Mental Health Centre and St Pancras Hospital, as well as community based services throughout the London boroughs of Camden and Islington. Our Trust is also a member of University College London Partners (UCLP), one of the world’s leading academic health science partnerships.
We provide services for adults of working age, adults with learning difficulties, and older people in the London area either in a community or inpatient setting.
Our income for 2015/16 was £138 million and we have approximately 1,700 staff. Our staff work in multi-disciplinary teams providing a holistic approach to recovery. This means that we often work with partner agencies and the voluntary sector.
Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care Trust was established in 2002. In March 2008 we became the first Care Trust to achieve Foundation Trust status and are licensed by NHS Improvement.