North West London exceeds targets helping those with serious mental health needs

22 May 2023

NW London has been working with healthcare professionals over a number of years to ensure people with serious mental illness (SMI) get the key six checks they are eligible for, and are offered the appropriate vaccinations and health screenings.

The ambition is for residents with SMI to have all six key health checks. These are for blood pressure, weight, smoking status, alcohol consumption and bloods check for diabetes and raised cholesterol.

20,869 residents out of 28,046 residents with SMI across North West London received all their health checks. This far exceeds the national NHS England target for NW London of 18,511.

Recent reports/research (e.g. Premature mortality in adults with severe mental illness) suggests people with SMI die between 15-20 years earlier than the general population, mostly due to preventable or treatable physical health needs. Major causes of death in people with serious mental illness include chronic physical medical conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and diabetes.  The expectation is that having a higher uptake of those taking up the offer of health checks will help us to reduce this inequality in the longer-term.

Dr Emma Coore, Clinical Lead for the Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism Programme said, “We are really delighted to see the huge effort across the system reflected in the increase in the number of people receiving all six health checks. Thank you to everyone for all your hard work on this.

“There are still differences in the take-up of health checks in our eight boroughs. We expect to close the gaps as part of our ongoing work.

“Our additional focus will also be on ensuring these checks genuinely improve health outcomes for those that receive them. People need personalised health plans and interventions that are meaningful to them as a result”.

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