• Led by North East London NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with North East London Local Pharmaceutical Committee and University College London, with support from Public Health London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, and London Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network.
  • Initiative to ensure that patients known to secondary mental health services in Barking and Dagenham have their health monitored.
  • Used holistic, individualised, co-produced, self-care wellbeing plans to tackle inequalities for patients with psychosis.
  • Project ran from September 2016 to January 2018.

People with psychotic illnesses are known to die 15–20 years earlier than the rest of the population. Studies have shown that this is related to cardio-metabolic side-effects of their medication which means they are more likely to have type 2 diabetes and a high body mass index (BMI), and are at increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Furthermore, their diet, exercise and smoking rates are worse than the general population. This is compounded by limited access to primary care and reduced uptake of health screening.

The Physical Health Care for patients with Psychosis (PHCP) project was a collaborative approach between secondary care, community pharmacy and primary care.

Patients with a diagnosis of psychotic illness known to the Barking and Dagenham Community Recovery Team were offered physical health checks (assessment of five cardio-metabolic risk factors including blood pressure, cholesterol and BMI) via community pharmacies. 

There were 350 eligible patients. Of these, 230 were offered health checks, with 90 declining or not attending, and 140 attending (40% of the eligible population).

All 140 patients received health coaching to support them with stopping smoking and improving their diet and exercise. There were high levels of satisfaction from both patients and the community mental health team about the health checks. 

Frontline staff were engaged early on, which helped with the recruitment of patients, and there was regular liaison with them to ensure feedback was obtained and any issues addressed. 

The project team are now starting discussions about implementing the model across the four London boroughs within the Trust. 

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