GPs are encouraged to apply a flexible approach to defining SMI
Some people with severe mental illness (SMI) may not know if they are eligible for vaccination as part of priority group six. Therefore, in line with the JCVI green book, it is vital that we take an inclusive approach to ensure people with bipolar, schizophrenia and any other illness that would impact functional impairment can access their COVID-19 vaccination
GP teams are encouraged to keep prioritising people with mental illness, applying a flexible approach to defining SMI. For instance, this could include people who are severely unwell with an eating disorder (who have a high or low BMI), or a diagnosis of personality disorder
People with SMI may have lower utilisation of primary care services and may find it difficult to attend vaccination appointment. This blog discusses some of the key adaptations which should be available for people with SMI to support them to access their vaccination. Below is a list of resources on Covid vaccinations for people with SMI.
- A guide for people with Severe Mental Illness and their carers on what to expect from the COVID-19 vaccination programme
- Information and advice from Rethink Mental Illness on the COVID-19 vaccination for people living with Severe Mental Illness
- Information from Mind in the COVID-19 vaccination and mental health