Crawley GP Practices work with charity to address mental health issues with new pilot scheme


A network of GP surgeries in Crawley has teamed up with charity, Relate, to bolster its mental health provision in reaction to the pandemic. South Crawley Primary Care Network has joined forces with Relate North and South West Sussex to provide 30 hours of counselling per week for its patients. 

The team, in conjunction with GP Federation, Alliance for Better Care, have been trialling the service, which is aimed at over 18s who are referred by a clinician for low to medium health and wellbeing issues. 

Counselling is delivered via phone, Zoom or face-to-face by an experienced team of counsellors, with patients accessing an assessment session before receiving 4 – 6 counselling sessions. 

South Crawley Primary Care Network includes Coachmans, Gossops Green, Bewbush and Saxonbrook practices, and its new provision has received excellent uptake with reports of improved wellbeing from patients.

Dr Raj Sinha of Gossops Green Practice has been the driving force behind the project. 

Lena Abdu, Alliance for Better Care PCN Development Manager said: “Patients are presenting to the service with a range of issues, including anxiety, isolation/loneliness, loss and bereavement and a sense of overwhelm. While many of these issues existed before Covid, we are finding that the pandemic has magnified and exacerbated such problems. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are confident that the service is reaching people who wouldn’t have engaged with counselling on their own.”

Lisa Phillips, Centre Manager for Relate Crawley said, “Relate are delighted to be working with partners in primary care to support the local community at a time when so many people are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.”