Under recording of formal diagnosis of co-existing serious mental illness (SMI) and substance misuse contributes to systematic underestimates of unmet need, which impacts on planning of services.
Lack of data recording and sharing across sectors compounds this problem and prevents the true picture of unmet need, health care utilisation and cost from being captured.
Actions to take
- Better use of data to capture incidence, prevalence, health care utilisation, costs and outcomes for individuals with co-existing SMI and substance misuse. This will provide a true understanding of the level of need, so that commissioners and providers can meet that need.
- Within mental health services, primary care and acute and community trusts: measure and monitor uptake of substance misuse screening, brief interventions and referrals.
- Within substance misuse services: record uptake and outcomes for those living with SMI.
- Monitor data and evaluate impact of interventions.