A pioneering project led by Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I) tackling the physical health of people with serious mental illness has secured a £65,000 award to pinpoint those most in need of health care.
The money from the Health Foundation, an independent health and health care charity, will fund development of a sophisticated data dashboard and analysis tool that identifies high risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and diabetes in those with psychosis.
It will sit at the heart of C&I’s ongoing five-year programme to significantly reduce the mortality rate of those with psychosis, who on average die 15 to 25 years earlier than the rest of the population.
The new analysis system, funded under the Foundation’s “Innovating for Improvement” programme, will provide frontline mental health staff with key data indicating which service users are most in need of care for their physical health.
The Foundation will be monitoring the 15-month development work to see if C&I’s analysis method could be more widely adopted in the UK to improve health care quality.
Supported by the specialist QRISK2 predictive analytical software, C&I’s dashboard will display risk indicators in one place, analysing data drawn from a separate physical health screening tool that mental health teams already use to assess service users.
It is believed to be the first time that such an approach in analysing raw health data to assess risk has been undertaken in a secondary health setting.
Rob Murray, Divisional Director at C&I’s Recovery and Rehabilitation division, said: “We are delighted at winning this funding from the Health Foundation to support the innovative work we are doing in helping some of the most vulnerable in Camden and Islington improve their physical as well as their mental health needs and therefore the quality of their life.”
C&I’s approach – innovative in mental health services – works by coordinating and treating the physical and mental needs of people with psychosis in a proactive manner, led by the mental health trust.
Key targets cover reducing the suicide rate among psychosis patients, the number smoking and the prevalence of diabetes.
To achieve this, there has been enhanced physical health training for mental health staff, more rigrorous physical health screening of those with psychosis and the setting up of physical health wellbeing clinics in more than five locations in Camden and Islington.
C&I’s initiative is one of 21 health care projects across the UK being supported by the Foundation’s sixth round of its “Innovating for Improvement” programme. The aim is to improve health care delivery and/or the way people manage their own health care through the redesign of processes, practices and services.
Sarah Henderson, Associate Director from the Health Foundation, said of the projects: “We are keen to support innovation at the frontline across all sectors of health and care services, and I am pleased that we will be able to support these ambitious teams to develop and test their ideas over the next year.
“Our aim is to promote the effectiveness and impact of the teams’ innovations and show how they have succeeded in improving the quality of health care, with the intention of these being widely adopted across the UK.”