GM CLAHRC’s mental health project receives recognition from national charity

GM CLAHRC’s work with Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust has been showcased by the national mental health charity, Rethink Mental Illness.

The charity Rethink Mental Illness has actively been campaigning for better physical health care for people with severe and enduring mental illness (SMI) for a number of years. As Paula Reid, Rethink Policy Officer describes: “Rethink Mental Illness has campaigned on physical health for a number of years and has developed a range of resources to support health professionals in this area”.

Rethink have recently launched their Integrated Physical Health Care Pathway looking at the co-ordination of physical health care between primary care, community mental health teams and inpatient wards. As part of the launch the GM CLAHRC Physical Health and SMI project has been included as a case study illustrating innovative and good practice. Paula Reid, Rethink Policy Officer, explains the collaboration “The launch of our new pathway was the perfect opportunity to showcase the excellent project that GM CLAHRC is carrying out. We look forward to continuing our close work with GM CLAHRC in driving improvements in the physical healthcare of people affected by mental illness.”

For this project GM CLAHRC is collaborating with Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust (MMHSCT) and Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) to develop and implement five key themes of work. One of the key developments has been the introduction of a Physical Health Link Worker who liaises with GP practices at regular Multi-Disciplinary Team meetings. Within these meetings, there are joint discussions to plan, manage and improve the physical health management of people with SMI across several healthcare providers.

Other elements of the project involve working with Rethink Mental Illness around implementing a programme of community physical health assessments, improving access to and uptake of community lifestyle services and improving the physical health knowledge of community mental health teams.

There have been some very encouraging early outcomes which illustrate the direct benefits which service users are experiencing as a result of the project. Mark (not his/her real name) recently shared his/her positive experience of how his/her care has already improved since the Trust’s Physical Health Link Worker came into action.

Michael Spence, Knowledge Transfer Associate for GM CLAHRC said: “Rethink Mental Illness has been very supportive of our project, we are utilising their Physical Health Check Tool within the community mental health setting and we are working closely with the charity’s physical health service user and carer groups. It is a really valued relationship which we hope will continue to make positive progress in addressing the poor physical health of people with SMI.”

For more information about the project please click here.