14:05 The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges – including the RCGP – has set out essential actions to improve the physical health of adults with severe mental illness across the NHS.
It said nearly half (46%) of people with severe mental illness have a long-term physical health condition and are at risk of losing on average 10-20 years of their lifespan due to physical ill-health.
A report makes eight recommendations to key bodies and inspectorates, including:
- The creation of a new national steering group to lead and link key stakeholders with experts from the professions so that important aspects of physical healthcare are addressed and monitored at a national level.
- Each mental health service, acute hospital, general medical practice or GP federation should develop a physical health strategy for patients with SMI which is approved by the board and reviewed annually; they should also appoint a lead clinician at board level to be responsible for its implementation.
- Training for healthcare staff should be reviewed to ensure healthcare professionals are equipped to fulfil the physical health needs of people with SMI, such as being able to recognise physical illness and take appropriate action.
- Infrastructure should be improved; e.g. systems for recognising acute illness; improved Information Technology to help with meeting current health-needs; better access to investigation results to help to improve standards of both physical and mental healthcare.
Professor Maureen Baker, RCGP chair, said: ’One of the pledges made in NHS England’s GP Forward View is for every GP practice to have access to a dedicated Mental Health therapist – and this will be essential in making sure our patients with serious mental illness receive optimal physical and mental health care.
’Mental health is an enduring priority for the RCGP and we have developed a number of practical resources to support GPs and other healthcare professionals to deliver the best possible care to our patients with mental health conditions. Promoting physical activity and lifestyle is also a priority, and we are working to support GPs to do this, in the best interests of all our patients.’
11:35 Meanwhile, the MPS has commented on our story about a GP winning a care against the GMC for releasing a fitness-to-practise report to a patient.
Dr Pallavi Bradshaw, senior medicolegal adviser at Medical Protection, whose case this was, said: ’This has been an extremely helpful judgment for Medical Protection members and the wider profession as the disclosure of expert reports to complainants can cause doctors a great amount of additional stress usually at a time when doctors may think the case against them has been closed.
’In the majority of cases in which Medical Protection has been involved, several of the factors Mr Justice Soole ruled on regarding disclosure are issues that we often come across. Providing that the GMC do not intend to pursue an Appeal we believe that this case sets a strong precedent for similar cases in the future, and will go some way to improve the regulatory process for all doctors.’
9:45 Here’s a story you might not have been expecting on a cold Tuesday morning. A GP has admitted taking a 6ft 4in picture of Steve McQueen from a Belfast hotel.
Ballymena GP Dr Jill Purce admitted to the Belfast Telegraph that she took the picture alongside an accomplice.
She said: ’It was just a moment of madness, I think very few of us go through life without doing something stupid.
’I think I did it maybe because I could do it, it was a bit like the Thomas Crown Affair.’
’I’m just a huge Steve McQueen fan, I have photographs of him, signed photographs.’
The police are currently investigating and said no arrests have been made.
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