How patient involvement is improving mental health care, and the increasing role of external suppliers and primary care, are some of the subjects featured in our supplement exploring case studies and the latest developments in mental health
Managing the moves of patients in secure and locked units to less secure environments and, hopefully, more independent lives can be a challenge. Integrated pathways, where
staff at each step work together and share information, can make the process smoother, ensure patient needs are met within the least restrictive setting, avoid assessments being needlessly repeated and, ultimately, improve the patient experience and cut costs.
Pressure on budgets is threatening mental health services at the very specialist, and expensive, end of the spectrum. But the head of the nation’s largest third sector provider of NHS-funded care argues that the highly specialist services his organisation provides are the cheapest option in the long run, leading to shorter lengths of stay and better outcomes.
People with serious mental illness typically die 15-25 years earlier than the rest of the population - so looking after physical as well as mental health will be a vital task for GPs as they take a bigger role in tackling schizophrenia and other mental health conditions.GPs will also need support to take on more tasks traditionally done in hospitals - such as prescribing and monitoring antipsychotic drugs.