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NHS England's bid to improve physical health in people with severe mental illness

New guidance has been issued by NHS England to improve the physical health of people with severe mental illness

New guidance has been issued by NHS England to improve the physical health of people with severe mental illness

The guide is aimed at Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and promotes collaboration between primary and secondary care.

It highlights that people with severe mental illness have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years lower than the general population. NHS England said this disparity is partly due to physical health needs being overlooked.

Smoking, NHS England said, is the largest avoidable cause of premature death, with 40% of people who have a severe mental illness engaging in the habit.

NHS England wants to double the number of people of these patients receiving a full, annual physical health assessment and follow up care, from 140,000 in 2017/18 to 280,000 in 2018/19. The target equates

New guidance has been issued by NHS England to improve the physical health of people with severe mental illness

The guide is aimed at Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and promotes collaboration between primary and secondary care.


Picture: iStock

It highlights that people with severe mental illness have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years lower than the general population. NHS England said this disparity is partly due to physical health needs being ‘overlooked’.

Smoking, NHS England said, is the largest avoidable cause of premature death, with 40% of people who have a severe mental illness engaging in the habit.

NHS England wants to double the number of people of these patients receiving a full, annual physical health assessment and follow up care, from 140,000 in 2017/18 to 280,000 in 2018/19. The target equates to around 60% of the population with a severe mental illness.

‘Don’t just screen, intervene’

The guidance says ‘don’t just screen, intervene’ and NHS England wants to see timely referrals to combat obesity, hypertension, alcohol/drug dependency and offer physical activity support.

CCGs will have £83 million to invest in each year from 2018/19 to 2020/21, with the aim of saving £108 million a year by the second term through preventative measures.

Part of the guidance encourages ‘integrated person commissioning’ to ensure people with the most complex needs experience a coordinated approach to their care.

Further information

Read the full guide here


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