Call for equal primary care for mentally ill people
People with mental illness and learning disabilities are not getting equal treatment in primary care despite having significantly higher health risks, a report has concluded.
The investigation by the Disability Rights Commission found people with mental illness had higher rates of obesity, smoking, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and stroke.
Yet they were less likely to have spirometry, cholesterol checks or statins.
People with learning difficulties also had higher rates of obesity, respiratory disease and other unmet health needs.
The study, which analysed 8 million health records, concluded many patients were suffering from 'diagnostic shadowing' where ill health was viewed as part of the mental health problem and therefore not treated.
Liz Sayce, director of policy and communication at the commission, called for incentives for English GPs to target such patients.