UKPPG National Mental Health Drugs Telephone Helpline

The UKPPG National Mental Health Drugs Telephone Helpline was reopened in 2003 (funded by the National Institute for Mental Heath for England) but sadly closed on 31st May 2007.

If anyone wants to write to express concern at the closure then please can they write to David Taylor at Pharmacy Department, Maudsley hospital, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 8AZ.  
Many thanks
Anne Connolly

 

Details

Number: Not available
Availability:

It was opened as a UKPPG initiative in October 1997, supported with an unconditional grant from AstraZeneca but closed on 31.3.03 after the funding from AstraZeneca lapsed. There had been a number of problems with some callers making disproportionate use of the service and the difficulty of making the line freely available.

Other telephone helplines which we know of (nothing to do with the UKPPG) include:

History

The UKPPG National Mental Health Drugs Telephone Helpline was opened in October 1997:

UKPPG MEDICATION HELPLINE

UKPPG Helpline - a review of the first two years

October 97 - September 99

Calls

Total number of calls - 5571
Number of calls in the last 6 months (April 99 - Sept 99) - 1656

Callers

Patients (Mental health service users) - 59%
Carers (Friend / Relative) - 33%
Others (Usually other helplines/usergroups/CPN’s/ social workers)- 8%

Length of Calls

0-15mins - 66%
15-30mins - 31%
30-45mins - 2%
45-60mins - 1%

How do callers hear about the helpline?

Usergroup - 68%
Advertisement -15%
Other - 5%
Card - 4%
Doctor - 4%
Pharmacist -2%
Nurse-2%
Internet -<1%

Caller Origin

Other England - 64%
Other London trust - 24%
Maudsley and Bethlem Trust 6%
Wales - 3%
Scotland - 2%
Ireland -1%

Caller Frequency

The number of repeat callers has increased in the last 6 month period

Drug Queried

Antipsychotic - 39.8%
Antidepressant - 32%
Mood Stabiliser - 9.9%
Anxiolytic - 4.9%
Hypnotic - 3.3%
Other - 2.9%
Anticholinergic - 2%
Herbal - 1.3%
Alcohol - 0.8%
Vitamin - 0.7%
Antiepileptic - 0.5%
OTC - 0.5%
Stimulant - 0.4%
Drug of misuse - 0.4%
Cannabis - 0.3%
Smoking - 0.2%
Homeopathic - 0.1%

Enquiry Category

Adverse effects - 38.9%
Administration & Dosage - 23.8%
Therapy Choice - 11.6%
General Information - 7.8%
Withdrawal symptoms - 5.3%
Interactions - 5%
Weight Gain - 2.3%
Pregnancy - 1.6%
Availability & Supply - 1%
Pharmaceutical -1%
Other - 0.7%
Breastfeeding - 0.4%
Poisoning - 0.3%
Identification - 0.2%
Fertility - 0.1%

Illness Queried

Schizophrenia - 38.3%
Depression - 31.7%
Bipolar - 13.1%
Anxiety 4.9%
OCD -2.2%
Unknown -1.6%
Phobia / Panic - 1.3%
Insomnia -1.1%
Other -1%
Drug misuse - 0.7%
ME - 0.7%
Eating disorder - 0.5%
Epilepsy - 0.5%
ADHD - 0.5%
Tourette’s - 0.4%
Physical illness - 0.35%
Dementia - 0.3%
Alcohol misuse - 0.3%
Autism - 0.2%
Learning difficulties - 0.2%
Personality disorder - 0.1%
Self injurious behaviour - 0.05%

Robyn McAskill
Drug Information Pharmacist
UKPPG Helpline
Maudsley Hospital
12.99

18 Month Report

SUMMARY

NUMBER OF ENQUIRIES

Total number of enquiries taken from October 97— March 99 is 3915

Enquiries taken during last 6 month period October 98— March 99 is 1539

6% increase in number of enquiries over previous 6 month period April 98 — September 98 (1447 enquiries taken)

WHO CALLS THE HELPLINE

Over the last 6 month period (October 98- March 99) there has been a small increase in the number of patients calling the helpline (62% vs 59% for whole 18 month period) and a small decrease in the number of others e.g. other mental health agencies calling the helpline (5% vs 8% for whole 18 month period). The number of carer’s calling the helpline has remained steady at 33%.

HAVE CALLERS USED THE HELPLINE BEFORE?

The number of new callers each month continues to exceed the number of callers that have used the helpline before

LENGTH OF CALLS TO THE HELPLINE

Over the last 6 month period (October 98 — March 99) the length of calls to the helpline were as follows - 59% of calls lasted 0—15 minutes, 38% of calls lasted 15—30 mins and 3% of calls lasted 30—45 minutes. These figures are comparable with average figures over first 18 months being 65%, 33% and 2% respectively. The number of long calls i.e greater than 30 minutes are minimal but callers may have difficulty getting through to the line.

HOW DO CALLERS HEAR ABOUT THE HELPLINE?

Over the last 6 month period (October 98 — March 99%) the majority of callers 60% had heard about the helpline via a usergroup (versus 68% for the 18 month period). The number reporting an advertisement as the means of finding out about the line had risen to 22% of callers (versus 15% for the 18 month period). This may be due to wider advertising of the helpline or inclusion of the number on the BBC database.

CALLER ORIGIN

Over the last 6 month period (October 98 — March 99) the majority of callers (5 5%)continue to reside in England outside the London area (vs 65% for the whole 18 month period). There was an increase noted in the number of callers from London (non maudsley patients) 31% (vs 21% over whole 18 month period).

For further details please consult the figures attached.

In April 1999, an evaluation of the helpline was carried out. Please find a copy of the evaluation attached.

Robyn McAskiIl -
Drug Information Pharmacist
Maudsley Hospital