Physical health care for people with severe and enduring mental illness becoming ‘more co-ordinated’

A project evaluation carried out by CLAHRC GM shows that the introduction of a Community Physical Health Co-ordinator (CPHC) has physical health benefits for people with severe and enduring mental illness (SMI).

It is widely reported that people with SMI have a reduced life expectancy of up to 25 years compared to the general population, with poor physical health leading to cardio-metabolic disorders being a key contributing factor. The Schizophrenia Commission (2012) has stressed that ‘the neglect of physical health cannot be allowed to continue’.

CLAHRC GM has been working in collaboration with Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust (MMHSCT) and Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) on a pilot project aiming to improve the physical health of people with SMI.

The project involved a number of different facets, the most notable being the introduction of a CPHC within Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs). The CPHC’s role was to liaise, discuss and co-ordinate the physical health management of people under the care of the CMHT. They did this with GPs via multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meetings held within primary care.

CLAHRC GM is pleased to announce that the full evaluation report of the pilot, including a section on the key ingredients required for spreading the model, has now been completed, along with a more practical focussed CPHC and MDT guidance document.

The project has produced some excellent outcomes, with improvements being made to the co-ordination of care; these are perhaps best typified by Mark’s story and Neeha’s story. Following the excellent results, MMHSCT have agreed for the roll-out of this project to every CMHT across the Trust, spanning North, Central and South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups.

For more information about any aspect of this work please contact Mike Spence, CLAHRC GM Knowledge Transfer Associate.