Ray is a registered mental health nurse. He trained at King’s College London and since qualifying has worked at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust in a variety of nursing roles. In his current role, Ray uses his clinical experience to support implementation of initiatives in practice; he also has responsibilities for navigating the clinical systems – auditing and service evaluation.
Ray is also undertaking an ICA Pre-doctoral Clinical and Practitioner Academic Fellowship supported by Health Education England and the NIHR.
People with severe mental illness (SMI) have significantly worse physical health and are less likely to receive medical interventions compared to the general population. The IMPHS Project  implemented and evaluated two novel service interventions (Consultant Connect and a Physical Health Clinic) in inpatient settings at the UK’s largest Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Consultant Connect (CC) is an app-based communications platform, now available in all clinical areas in the Trust. The Physical Health Clinic is available to 12 wards, and provides a consultant physician to respond to referrals.
The interventions aim to increase support for mental health clinicians managing physical health conditions and improve integration between the mental health Trust and its partner acute Trusts.
Both interventions have been evaluated separately, in terms of 1) understanding the process of implementation, and 2) establishing acceptability and feasibility. Implementation activities have been logged and mapped to strategies and domains in the Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change (ERIC) framework. Data on uptake and usage has also been collected, as well as qualitative feedback from users (n=18).
Statistical analysis of the implementation strategies used and how they map to uptake and usage data over the same period is currently ongoing. The mapping exercise identified 39 ERIC strategies were employed once or more, to either or both interventions, since the launch. CC has been used >2700 times, and its app has been downloaded and registered >550 times by Trust clinicians. The PHC has received >240 referrals and been used by >60 clinicians.
Integration of services is a priority for the UK health and care system and has the potential to improve health outcomes for the population as a whole. Results from this evaluation can provide insights for future novel service developments and can help to overcome implementation and sustainability challenges.