Health care for Lewisham patients with mental health problems has improved, according to a new report.
The report, commissioned by Lewisham’s Healthier Communities Select Committee, said that since April all patients who have been in hospitals run by the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) have received physical health check-ins.
The Trust has been especially successful in helping patients to stop smoking through their programme, Smokefree, which has been “over performing on its quit targets”.
Prior to April, Lewisham GP practices were performing worse than the rest of London and England in carrying out specific health checks for patients with serious mental illnesses.
SLaM and NHS England have signed the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat, a national agreement that aims to re-prioritise mental health care in line with health care for physical illnesses.
A range of new standards will be implemented for patients that suffer from mental illnesses including 24-hour psychiatric services in accident and emergency departments and a round-the-clock telephone helpline.
Matthew Patrick, the chief executive of SLaM, said: “These standards must be implemented by all parties – not just NHS providers if they are to have a real impact. The fact that such a wide range of organisations have signed the Concordat, demonstrates a firm commitment to making real improvements for people in London with mental illness.”