Reducing inequalities for people with severe mental illness – new guidance
New guidance aiming to reduce inequalities for people with severe mental illness has been launched by Public Health England (PHE), working with the Association for Mental Health Providers, Centre for Mental Health and Rethink Mental Illness. Last week, PHE published the guidance which is intended to improve access to screening for people with severe mental illness, as data shows they can die 15 to 20 years earlier from poor physical health compared with the rest of the population.
The new guidance, developed in collaboration with NHS England and screening and immunisation teams, provides national information, advice and support, including:
- guidance on helping to improve access to screening for people with severe mental illness in mental health care settings
- an appendix of mental health service providers to facilitate contact from screening services
Access to screening largely depends on individuals being registered with a GP. Many people with severe mental illness who are long-term residents in mental health settings are not registered with a GP, so the new guidance advises primary care and screening providers on how to address this issue.