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New state-of-the-art clinic opens to help depression sufferers

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust has opened a new clinic for people who are suffering with depression using a state-of-the-art clinically proven treatment known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, or rTMS.

rTMS offers a non-pharmaceutical alternative for people who suffer from depression that has not benefitted from psychological therapies, antidepressant medications or cannot tolerate antidepressant medications due to side-effects.

rTMS works by delivering short magnetic pulses over the scalp to stimulate an area of the brain that regulates mood. The procedure is non-invasive and pain free and therefore requires no anaesthetics or sedatives. The effectiveness of rTMS has been recognised by NICE and the Royal College of Psychiatrists who recommend rTMS as a treatment for depression.

Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Nathan Maynard, said: “Depression is a common disorder that can have a debilitating effect on a person’s life. The treatment options for depression have not changed for decades and I am thrilled that we can offer rTMS to NHS patients within Somerset. rTMS is safe and effective with limited side effects and can be used alongside psychological therapies and medications in patients who have not found them effective.”

The Somerset rTMS service is based at the Wellsprings clinic located in Taunton behind Foundation House. The team consists of experienced psychiatrists and registered mental health nurses who will be assessing the suitability of people referred for rTMS. If they believe that rTMS would not be suitable or appropriate then they may suggest alternative treatment options within the Affective Disorder Service, led by Dr Andreas Papadopoulos.

Referral can be made by a mental health team, yaGP, or a private health care provider as treatment is offered as an NHS and private service.

More information is available from Parkside, Private Patient Unit at Musgrove Park Hospital by emailing or calling 01823 344141.

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