NHS Ayrshire and Arran has developed a tool to pull together details of the physical health of patients with a serious mental illness.
Evidence shows that although service users with serious mental illness are at greater risk of physical ill health, they are less likely to be offered health promotion advice. An earlier East Ayrshire project, called the Well Person Service, had made progress in improving access to mainstream services, and increasing patient awareness of physical health. The physical health reporting tool builds on this holistic approach. It aims to ensure that physical health forms part of the integrated care pathway, and to establish uniform access to information and services.
The tool pulls together data from various sources, including:
It flags up specific risks and helps to identify opportunities for prevention or early intervention through better access to mainstream services. The intention is to collect as much physical health detail as possible from a single electronic record, with physical health and wellbeing embedded into the routine work and clinical recording of the case worker. Case workers will update this information and review a patient’s physical health, so the reporting tool may take months to complete, depending on how often someone is seen. The tool offers:
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The annual GP review will now be on caseworkers’ radar so they can encourage the service user to attend, and offer to accompany them if necessary. They can also record reasons why someone does not want to attend and discuss this with the patient’s GP. The tool is also good for time management because caseworkers do not have to start from scratch or repeat the process of gathering information. They are able to amalgamate existing data, then update and review it. The physical health reporting tool will now be rolled out across Ayrshire and Arran.
A researcher is developing a framework for evaluation. This framework will incorporate data already captured in existing systems, and will build in longer-term analysis of the impact on the target population.
Mental health services in NHS Ayrshire and Arran aim to reduce stigma and demystify the mental health client group. Some people, however, need more tailored services because mainstream services can be difficult for them to access. It was also important to ensure that the project had strategic support from senior management.
Craig Stewart, locality manager North Ayrshire Adult Mental Health Community Services Three Towns Resource Centre Nelson Road Saltcoats KA21 5RF
Tel: 01294 470010 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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