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Bipolar disorder lacks specialist support in UK, report finds

BMJ 2022; 379 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o2711 (Published 09 November 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:o2711
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The NHS must provide greater specialist support for patients with bipolar disorder to tackle “systemic flaws” in the current system, an expert report has concluded.1

The million or more people with bipolar disorder living in the UK wait an average of 9.5 years to have it diagnosed and then endure inconsistent and uncoordinated care, found the Bipolar Commission, which was convened by the charity Bipolar UK alongside a group of experts with experience of the condition. The findings were gathered during an 18 month programme of interviews, surveys, and research.

The report said that the current “episodic” model of care—where patients have access to a GP but are referred to a psychiatrist only if they …

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