Improving the physical health of people with severe and enduring mental illness
What did we do?
We developed a new model of working to improve the physical health of people with severe and enduring mental illness (SMI).
Why was it important?
Compared to the general population, people with SMI have much poorer physical health, a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and a significantly reduced life expectancy. However, many of the physical health issues experienced by this group (e.g. cardiovascular diseases or diabetes) are either preventable or controllable via effective chronic disease management. It is also possible to address many lifestyle issues by ensuring timely and patient-centred access to health promotion services (e.g. smoking cessation and physical activity schemes).
How did we do it?
The new model involved a number of different facets, the most notable being the introduction of a Community Physical Health Coordinator (CPHC) within Community Mental Health Area Teams (CMHATs). The CPHC’s role is to coordinate the physical health management of people under the care of the CMHAT. They do this with GPs via multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meetings.