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In focus – Treat as One

Highlights from the report ‘Treat as One: Bridging the gap between mental and physical healthcare in general hospitals’.

The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) has released a study looking at mental healthcare in the general hospital setting of patients on an acute inpatient pathway.

It aimed to identify and explore remediable factors in the quality of mental health and physical health care provided to patients with significant mental health conditions who were admitted to a general hospital with physical illness. This is the first time the response from physicians and surgeons to mental health disorders of patients admitted to acute hospitals for management of their co-existing physical ill health has been critically examined.

The report focuses on the presentation of 552 cases of patients during mid-October to mid-November 2014 who presented to general hospitals across the UK with an array of physical health issues and who also had a significant mental health problem. Case notes were peer reviewed along with data collected and analysed from completed questionnaires from the discharging consultant and liaison psychiatrist.

The study sought to identify the common themes that emerged in the general hospital setting. It concludes that those mental health patients being treated for physical disorders are seriously disadvantaged and the divide between mental and physical healthcare needs to reduce.

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