Gracie Tredget is a Clinical Research Assistant based at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) working within the Mind and Body Programme at King’s Health Partners. Alongside colleagues at King’s College London, Gracie and others contribute to a body of work focused on Integrating Mental and Physical Healthcare Systems (IMPHS) at SLaM. Gracie has a background of experience working on service improvement projects, and previously worked on the development team for the Community Mental Health Transformation at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust in Bromley prior to joining SLaM.
People living with serious mental illnesses (SMI), such as Schizophrenia, are more likely to die prematurely (as much as 15-20 years earlier) from preventable physical health problems than the average population (John et al., 2018). Despite this, little is known about how mental health staff perceive their role in providing physical healthcare, nor how these attitudes may impact upon patient care. We report a prospective pragmatic evaluation to explore perceptions, attitudes, and experiences of staff, patients, and carers, regarding physical healthcare within South London and Maudsley (SLaM) Adult Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs). We aim to identify common barriers or facilitators that impact on clinical practice and patient experience and use insights to develop recommendations to improve future routine practice regarding physical healthcare.
This is a prospective service evaluation in SLaM CMHTs using qualitative methodology. The evaluation involves semi-structured interviews (n=23), focus groups (n=27) and observations (n=6) with staff, patients, and carers. We aim to recruit 64 participants (40 clinical staff, 12 patients and 12 carers). The evaluation will focus on three areas: 1) attitudes, perceptions, and experiences, 2) physical health infrastructure (e.g., screening tools, equipment, patient data), and 3) knowledge, skills, and training. Framework analysis will be used to analyse and synthesise data collected across the data set. Findings will be reviewed via feedback workshops with participating staff to co-develop recommendations for SLaM.
The data collection is ongoing. At the time of the conference, we will report on the evaluation methodology and share early findings.
This evaluation will provide insights into how staff in CMHTs deal with physical health and the main barriers and facilitators for staff, patients, and carers. We will use this to provide recommendations that can better support future routine physical health provision within community mental health services.