Care bundles to improve physical health care in services for people with long-term mental health needs Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

  • Run by Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with the North West London Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC).
  • Introduced in a mental health inpatient service in North Kensington.
  • Aimed to improve routine assessment and detection of physical health problems and lifestyle risks in people with long-term mental health needs, and support them in understanding their options.
  • Developed a care bundle to ensure routine monitoring of physical health.

This project, run within a North Kensington inpatient ward, involved developing a care bundle for patients with long-term mental health problems which would ensure routine monitoring of their physical health.

People with serious and long-term mental health problems in the UK have a life expectancy that is, on average, 15 to 20 years less than the general population. This project aimed to significantly improve the delivery of basic health assessments for these patients, and improve the routine delivery of physical health care in mental health services.

A process mapping session was held, during which the project team explored the current systems and processes around physical health care assessment on the acute ward. This revealed that there were two parallel systems for collecting information on the physical health of mental health patients. It also found that the systems were not adequately recording the necessary physical parameters.

The care bundle therefore focused on a streamlined inpatient assessment which generates key interventions, shares the information via a patient-held plan, and signposts to other services and support. A fully co-produced assessment and intervention for physical health care was successfully developed, and workload for staff was reduced by combining several processes into one.

The project team gained great benefit from ensuring service user input throughout, and demonstrating the value of the work to frontline clinicians. There were challenges along the way, for example the clinical information system and a concurrent service redesign. The team adapted the project on an ongoing basis in order to meet these challenges.

Contact details

For further information about the project, please email Dr Bill Tiplady at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.

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