A five-year programme by Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I) to improve the quality of life for people with psychosis by tackling their poor physical health has won a top national award for innovation in the NHS.
The Trust’s work to reduce premature death in those with a severe mental health condition won the “Innovation in Mental Health” category in the Health Business Awards 2017, which recognise excellence in the NHS.
The C&I programme was launched last year and is pioneering a network of care that integrates physical and mental health support.
The three key targets overall are to reduce suicide among psychosis patients, cut the percentage of those smoking and reduce the prevalence of diabetes.
To support the programme – known formally as the “Integrated Practice Unit for Psychosis” – mental health nurses are undertaking additional training in physical health. This equips them to assess and treat conditions such as diabetes and lung disease, which are significantly more prevalent in those with serious mental health conditions.
Other features of the Trust’s approach include a special screening tool to profile the physical health of service users with serious mental illness and increasing the number of clinics where they can get help on healthier lifestyles, at the same time as receiving their anti-psychotic medication.
Dr Ian Prenelle, Clinical Director of C&I’s Recovery and Rehabilitation division, said: ”Winning this award is great recognition for all the colleagues and teams involved in helping tackle a significant social and health issue.
“It is a strong endorsement from our peers in the NHS of our developing approach in helping some of the most vulnerable people in our communities to live longer, healthier and happier lives.”
The award was picked up at a special awards lunch in central London, by senior Trust nurses, Anthony Jemmott, Community Nurse Manager in Camden, and Janice Dunn, Community Nurse Manager is Islington. The event was hosted by doctor and comedian Dr Phil Hammond.