Physical ill-health and Cardiovascular Disease prevention in people with severe mental illness

The NHS RightCare Toolkit for physical ill-health and Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) prevention in people with severe mental illness (SMI) defines the core components of an optimal service for people with SMI who are at risk of developing CVD.

This toolkit has been developed in collaboration with Public Health England, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, the British Heart Foundation, MIND, Rethink Mental Illness, University College London, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It provides a national case for change and a set of resources to support local health systems concentrate their improvement efforts where there is greatest opportunity to address variation and improve population health.

Commissioners responsible for improving physical health and CVD prevention for people with severe mental illness for their population should:

  • focus on the key components of care across the system:
    • Primary prevention and early detection of CVD risk factors in people with SMI
    • Implement the RightCare CVD prevention pathway and provide dedicated appointments with mental health trained staff to undertake checks
    • Ensure long term management of modifiable risk factors
    • Provide personalised care and support planning through shared decision making
    • Strong clinical leadership to champion physical healthcare of people with SMI and embed a proactive culture of addressing the needs of this population group
  • work across their system to ensure that schemes to deliver the key interventions and priorities for optimisation are in place including:
    • Systematic approaches to screening, assessing and monitoring CVD risk factors in people with SMI
    • Smoking cessation interventions

Relevant links to support implementation are included throughout this resource.

Health systems, supported by their NHS RightCare Delivery Partner, can use this resource as a framework for their local improvement discussions.