What impact could the new ICS structures have on the treatment of schizophrenia?

 

By Luke Sisley, Senior Business Intelligence Analyst, CSL

 

An holistic approach to health is a priority for ICSs

There is a significant overlap between people suffering a long-term health condition, and people with mental health problems.

Serious mental health conditions such as schizophrenia have been associated with a cut in life expectancy of up to 20 years.

In linking physical and mental health interventions, ICSs will be able to tackle connected physical and mental health issues, improving overall patient health. For patients with schizophrenia, this could mean greater support in addressing potential physical conditions.

Source: The Kings Fund, Mental Health in Integrated Care Systems

The focus on early intervention may be enhanced

The emphasis on early intervention for psychosis is widely known to have a dramatic impact on both patient outcomes and cost of care.

Not only does early intervention reduce the risk of suicide (from 15% to 1%), but results in a cost-saving of £15 for every £1 invested in EIP services.

However, not every individual experiencing psychosis (such as individuals with schizophrenia) is receiving early intervention. It is likely that ICSs will seek to enhance the provision of early interventions to increase efficiency and patient outcomes.

Source: PHE. Psychosis Data Report

ICSs will seek out ways of reducing the numbers of people experiencing mental health problems presenting in A&E

 

Recently A&E care has received a lot of public and political scrutiny, with questions around capacity and how the burden on A&E departments can be eased. With the London Ambulance Service reporting that around 10% of their calls are from people experiencing mental health problems, itsit’s no surprise that ICSs will be keen to provide alternative routes to mental health care.

In 2018 a scheme launched in London to team up senior mental health nurses with paramedics. The scheme’s aims are to treat people at home; with mental health nurses and dispatchers having the option to dispatch clinicians and nurses to provide brief psychological interventions and assess physical needs.

It is likely that ICSs will look to integrate and expand schemes like this to free up A&E capacity and provide faster interventions.

Source: NHS England, Integrated Care In Action – Mental Health Case Studies

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