Four mental health trusts almost doubled the number of people getting five key physical health checks during a pilot scheme now being shared for adoption across the NHS.
Hundreds of patients with serious mental illness (SMI) were part of the two-year improvement programme to improve physical care in mental health inpatient units. This saw 86 per cent get five recommended Cardiovascular screens compared to 46 per cent at the start.
It used the ‘Lester tool’, a poster and electronic clinical prompt system to support clinical teams to screen and intervene for cardiovascular conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as smoking, lifestyle and weight. The programme was independently evaluated by the Royal College of Psychiatrists Clinical Care Quality Improvement Unit ( CCQI) .
Professor Huon Grey, National Clinical Director for cardio vascular disorders at NHS England, Prof Jonathan Valabhji, NCD for Diabetes, and Dr Geraldine Strathdee, while NCD for Mental Health directed the programme.