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Mental health commissioning new priority for NHS England


21 January 2014

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Targeted smoking schemes should be commissioned for people with mental health issues, NHS England has announced. 
More than 40,000 deaths among people with serious mental illness (SMI) could be averted each year if they received the same healthcare checks as the general population. 
However, people with SMI often do not respond to health messaging campaigns in the same way as the general population. 

Targeted smoking schemes should be commissioned for people with mental health issues, NHS England has announced. 
More than 40,000 deaths among people with serious mental illness (SMI) could be averted each year if they received the same healthcare checks as the general population. 
However, people with SMI often do not respond to health messaging campaigns in the same way as the general population. 
NHS England has called for a “real focus” on improving care for people with SMIs by taking advice from best practice schemes to work towards smoke-free inpatient settings.
Dr Geraldine Strathdee, NHS England’s national clinical director for mental health, said: “This needs a co-ordinated effort so that some organisations which traditionally solely address the patient’s psychological problem, also now arrange treatment of the physical health aspects. We urge those leading organizations which have made major progress in recent years in tackling the neglect of physical morbidity to share learning with others. 
“In all inpatient units and three community intensive teams, we want to make sure health professionals across the board are making checks which pick up lifestyle issues such as smoking and lack of physical exercise which is markedly higher in the SMI population than the general population, as well as tackling the higher levels of diabetes, cancer and other long term illnesses. We know that medication can be a factor, so people also need to be offered regular education, choice and monitoring of the impacts of medication.” 
In addition, NHS England will be working towards: 
 – Assessing the evidence about what works in reducing premature mortality and ensuring this information is disseminated across the NHS particularly to CCGs and strategic clinical networks.
 – Introducing incentives for physical health checks and treatments to be undertaken in all mental health in-patient settings of all types, in all sectors (a new national CQUIN).
 – Working closely with experts in medicines management to ensure the effects and side effects of psychotrophic medications are routinely monitored and addressed. 

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