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NEWS STORY

New tool to give people with mental illness better care for their physical health

13/06/2014

The Lester Tool will help frontline staff make assessments of cardiac and metabolic health, helping to cut mortality for people with mental illnesses

NHS England today launches a vital new tool aimed at helping front line staff make key interventions and treatment for people with mental illnesses.

 

The Lester Tool is a summary poster to guide health workers to assess the cardiometabolic health of people experiencing psychosis and schizophrenia, enabling staff to deliver safe and effective care to improve the physical health of mentally ill people.

 

Geraldine Strathdee, NHS Englandís national clinical director for mental health said:

 

"NHS England is committed to making sure that mental health is treated the same way as physical health.

 

"People with severe mental illness, including schizophrenia, are at risk of dying up to 15-20 years before the general population, and the case for closing the gap in mortality and quality of life for people with severe mental illness is clear.

 

"It is our hope that by publishing this downloadable resource, in partnership with Public Health England , that doctors and nurses will be able to consult it regularly to monitor, and intervene to improve the health of service users, thus helping reduce premature mortality in people experiencing serious mental illness.Ē

 

The Lester adaptation 2014 is a useful summary poster of the key interventions and treatments that front line staff working with people with mental illnesses can use to guide them in safe, effective care.

 

The poster guides health care workers through the assessment of a personís smoking history, lifestyle, body mass index, blood pressure, glucose regulation and blood lipids, offering appropriate interventions and targets to improve that personís physical health.

 

The poster is available in a printable downloadable format and clinicians may find it helpful to have a copy in every clinic and team meeting room. It may also form the basis of team learning and CPD events. It has been produced in collaboration with NHS Englandís clinical directors for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, liver and renal disease.

 

Gregor Henderson, National Lead for Wellbeing and Mental Health, Public Health England said:

 

"Public Health England wants to make a real difference to improve the shocking and unacceptable disparities in life expectancy and poor health experienced by people living with mental health problems. We are examining the wider determinants of mental health and wellbeing, as well as providing new and updated resources and guidance to help improve the publicís mental health.

 

"The Lester Tool has attracted significant interest from other countries. This updated resource adds further improvements to this welcome innovation. I urge healthcare and public health workers to use this updated Lester Tool to help better meet a personís physical health needs and significantly improve their quality of life and wellbeing.Ē


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