The Mind & Body Programme at King's Health Partners
The mind and body are inseparable, and mental and physical health conditions are often connected. Integrating mental and physical healthcare services has the potential to vastly improve the care that patients receive.
Evidence shows that by joining up physical and mental healthcare, we can help someone to manage their different conditions, improve their health outcomes, and even prevent unnecessary health problems for some people by identifying risk early.
The average life expectancy for someone with a long-term mental health illness or learning disability is 15- 20 years shorter than for someone without.
30% of people with long-term physical health conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis or heart problems, also have a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety.
Nearly half of all people with diagnosed mental illness also have at least one, and often more, long-term physical conditions.
There are exciting new developments, including the emergence of ‘immuno-psychiatry’, which is all about communication between the brain and the immune system, and explores the potential to manage psychiatric disorders through novel treatment approaches that target the immune system. Whilst we might still be building our knowledge of how physical and mental health interacts, we know that when mental and physical health problems are combined, people are less able to manage their conditions properly and their health outcomes become worse.
There are many different ways that NHS services are already trying to address this problem, but we need to turn best practice into common practice.
Our partnership is committed to a programme of work to join up and deliver excellent mental and physical healthcare, research and education so that we treat the whole person. We are doing this by:
- improving our understanding of population mind and body needs, which will underpin the provision of high quality care
- improving identification and diagnosis of mind and body needs through universal assessment and meaningful sharing of data
- robust evaluation of what works and developing a common set of clinical and economic outcome measures to inform system development and incentives
- learning and development to upskill our workforce to be aware and practice essential skills confidently across mind and body
- developing new and enhancing existing service infrastructure to fully embed a mind and body approach
- championing an integrated mind and body ethos across our partnership through system leadership, communications and awareness raising
Our website has a wealth of information and resources illustrating best practice and new innovations across our partnership in mind and body care. Browse the site for blogs, training opportunities and news. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mind & Body Programme is funded by our partners, King's College London, and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts, with support from The Health Foundation, Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, The Burdett Trust, and Leukaemia UK.