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Increase access to prevention services

This page offers ideas and tools to help you improve access to prevention services for people who have serious mental illness.

We need to ensure access to the full range of evidence-based treatment interventions is available. Health promotion activities need to be linked with initiatives to address a broad range of social needs.

Actions to take

  • Use delivery approaches that increase intervention efficacy e.g. personalisation, social prescribing, links to government agencies, voluntary sector organisations and community based health and wellbeing initiatives.
  • Integrate health promotion initiatives into existing voluntary sector or non-statutory community services.
  • Commissioners should act as key brokers to support increased access to voluntary sector organisations and preventative interventions in the community for Mental Health Trusts.
  • Commissioners should optimise local incentives to increase coverage of screening (including Quality and Outcomes Framework [QOF] targets) and interventions through care pathways.
  • Use risk assessment tools to develop enhanced pathways or arrangements for those needing extra support to access and benefit from physical healthcare (e.g. enhanced care packages, outreach support etc.).
  • Explore the potential benefits of innovations such as physical health self-monitoring pods or technology to support uptake of health promotion advice and engagement. See this example from East London NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Make reasonable adjustments to support access and uptake of screening and treatment by people living with serious mental illness (SMI), such as longer appointment times. Note that mental illness can be classed as a disability, which is a protected characteristic. Providers and commissioners have legal duties to address inequalities for those with protected characteristics, such as making reasonable adjustments to improve access to prevention and treatment for people with SMI.

Tools to help you

Case study: Improving physical health monitoring of patients in City and Hackney (East London NHS Foundation Trust)

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