NIHR CLAHRC NWL collaborated with Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL), through the SHINE Community Project, to improve the physical health of mental health patients in the community. It is internationally known that individuals with severe mental illness have a lifespan 15-20 years below that of the general population. This difference is largely due to is largely due to preventable physical ill-health issues, such as cardiovascular, respiratory and cerebrovascular disease. Such individuals are also at heightened risk of death from cancer and diabetes mellitus.
What are we doing about it?
To tackles this, it is vital that mental health services providers play an active role in addressing the physical needs of patients. Our aim is to ensure that, through the SHINE projects based at CNWL, patients in the community are offered a full annual physical health assessment inclusive of appropriate interventions.
Our change ideas for improvement included:
- Monitoring attendance of a 2-day physical health training for mental health staff
- Introducing a new process for inviting patients to physical health assessment appointments
- Integrating a physical health assessment with routine mental health appointments
- Identify staff responsible for ordering and checking equipment needed for physical health assessments
- Develop a list of physical health interventions, groups and services available in Brent, and aligned with the community occupational therapy department, to ensure that patients are informed, updated and support regarding their physical health needs.
- Give patients the CNWL ‘my physical health explained’ booklet, co-designed and tested in the acute mental health setting, to support them to monitor their physical health needs.
SHINE in the Acute Mental Health Setting
To demonstrate if this change has led to an improvement, the project team will measure the percentage of mental health staff that attend the 2-day physical health training opportunities. They will also collect data on: initiation and completion of Shine forms; patients smoking status; BMI and blood pressure.