Healthy London Partnership > Caring for mental health

Caring for mental health

Care for the most mentally ill in London so they live longer, healthier lives

Mental ill-health is under-diagnosed and under-treated. Just a quarter of people with mental health problems receive treatment compared to 92% of people with diabetes. More than a million Londoners will experience mental ill-health this year.

We aim to reduce the gap in life expectancy between adults with severe and enduring mental illness and the rest of the population by five per cent.

Supporting mental health in primary care
HLP is working to improve the capacity, confidence and capability of GPs to care for people with mental illnesses. HLP is developing training and education guidance for CCGs and is working with Health Education England to improve the uptake of mental health training across primary care. HLP is also working with GPs to support and encourage innovative approaches to promoting mental health within their local areas. The new London Transforming Primary Care Strategic Commissioning Framework encourages GPs to provide flexible appointment lengths for patients with mental ill-health as appropriate and dedicated care plans for those requiring more coordinated care.

Camden and Islington CCGs have developed a new service model to improve mental health and physical health outcomes for people living with psychosis. A proportion of funding will only be paid if improvements in priority outcomes are achieved. A group of service users, clinicians and managers agreed the outcomes and have identified the system changes needed to achieve improvements.

Improving access to crucial services for treatment
HLP is developing commissioning guidance for perinatal mental health that builds on existing good practice in London, new national guidance and feedback from service users and other stakeholders. This will support the provision of improved perinatal services across the capital.
In April 2016, a new access and waiting time standard will come into force for people experiencing psychosis for the first time. HLP is supporting commissioners and providers by examining current service delivery across London, including the quality of care, caseloads, skills and workforce. This has helped to prepare for improved access and reduced waiting times so that Londoners experiencing psychosis for the first time get timely access to services.

Ensuring that Londoners in crisis get the support they need
HLP has launched a mental health crisis care group that is jointly led by clinicians from mental health and urgent and emergency care (U&EC). The group also has broader representation from across the crisis care system, including the Metropolitan Police and social care. Through the Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network, London has set clinical commissioning standards for mental health crisis care, in line with the Crisis Care Concordat. The Londonwide group is supporting local and sub-regional organisations to transform the delivery of crisis care across the city. U&EC networks in London are using these standards to plan and deliver urgent care services.

Improving the physical health of Londoners with mental ill health
HLP and PHE London have launched a project to respond to the premature mortality gap for people with serious mental illness in London. Partners are developing a data set on physical health outcomes for people with serious mental illness, including a London benchmark on premature mortality. This will be used to explore variation in outcomes across London in order to identify interventions likely to have the greatest impact on life expectancy.

The London Borough of Lewisham commissions a tailored smoking cessation service for people with serious mental illnesses. A specialist stop smoking advisor is commissioned as a key part of the stop smoking specialist team. In 2014/2015, support was provided for 108 smokers with a serious mental illness. Since then 48 per cent have quit smoking.