Bury is the second best performing area in the country in relation to providing physical health checks for people with severe mental illness, according to the latest data.
Data is collected every quarter in relation to the number of people living with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder who have received a comprehensive physical health check in the last 12 months.
The latest data which relates to the end of March 2019 (quarter 4 2018/19), places Bury as the best performing Clinical Commissioning Group in Greater Manchester, and the second best in the country.
Patients living with serious mental illness are at risk of poor overall health and premature death, on average these patients die 20 years earlier than the general population due to preventable physical health problems such as heart disease and respiratory failure.
A combination of factors including the side effects of medication, lifestyle and difficulty accessing mainstream health services all contribute to this decreased life expectancy.
To help identify problems early and provide appropriate care to improve health, wellbeing and quality of life, patients with a serious mental illness are offered the annual health check. The health check focusses on things like blood pressure, cholesterol, risk of diabetes, weight and smoking status so that issues can be identified early and in turn the most appropriate advice and care can be offered.
Dr. Daniel Cooke is a local GP and Clinical Director at NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) with a lead for mental health, he said:
“We welcome the news that Bury is doing really well in this area and this very much reflects the hard work of our GP practices and close working between our practices and local hospitals.
“When treating patients with serious mental illness, it’s natural to think foremost about their mental health, but this group of patients are also at an increased risk of poor overall physical health and premature death.
“It’s really important to value mental health equally with physical health and offering these comprehensive health checks are one way that we can improve physical health and reduce preventable premature death among people living with severe mental illness.”
Anyone who is eligible for a health check, but hasn’t had one in the past year, is encouraged to contact their GP practice