The NHS in North West London is launching a new tech-enabled programme to tackle the significant disparity in physical health outcomes for individuals living with severe mental illness (SMI).
People with illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder die 15-20 years earlier than the general population, largely due to preventable or treatable physical health problems such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and hypertension.
The North West London Integrated Care System (ICS) has partnered with Inhealthcare to bridge the gap and reduce health inequalities.
The programme will extend annual physical health check pathways to reach more SMI patients, introduce remote monitoring technology to support the pathways and improve data-sharing between different parts of the primary and secondary care system.
Patients will be able to access physical health checks in convenient locations such as wellbeing centres, church halls, community centres and even their own homes.
Mental health professionals will carry out the checks using devices such as mobile ECG machines and enter their observations directly into Inhealthcare’s app, rather than using paper, to improve patient record safety.
Authorised NHS staff will be able to view the data on a dashboard, review existing conditions and start treatment plans if new conditions are diagnosed. The data will be shared automatically with GP software systems.
Faith Lubimbi, tech-enabled Care@Home lead for North West London Integrated Care System, said: “Our ambitious programme aims to bridge the mortality gap and improve outcomes for the most vulnerable service users with severe mental illness.
“Inhealthcare is helping the NHS to integrate care between mental health and primary care providers to improve patient and staff experience, increase efficiency and lower the cost of care.”
Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare, said: “We are proud to be working with the North West London Integrated Care System on this important initiative to reduce shocking health inequalities and bring hope to people living with severe mental illness.”
The Royal College of Psychiatrists recently warned that more than 26,000 adults with SMI die prematurely each year from preventable physical illnesses*.
Notes to Editors:
Inhealthcare is a UK leader in digital health and remote patient monitoring. The Yorkshire-based company has serviced more than three million episodes of care and produced more than 150 separate digital pathways.
Patients using Inhealthcare services have a choice of communication channels including smartphone app, web browser, SMS text and automated telephone call, promoting digital inclusion.