Mind & Body Quality Improvement Network
The King’s Health Partners Mind & Body Quality Improvement Network (QIN) is a world-first project that will define what ‘best practice’ mind and body care looks like. In doing so, we aim to create impactful quality improvements at both local and national levels, and ultimately enhance patient care and outcomes, promote wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities for all.
Read below for more information about the project, its ambitions, and progress. For general enquiries about the QIN, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mind and body are inseparable, and mental and physical health conditions are commonly connected. 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. The average life expectancy for someone with a long-term mental health illness is much shorter than for someone without, largely due to physical health factors and conditions. Despite this, health services often separate care into physical and mental.
King's Health Partners Mind & Body programme is working to overcome these barriers by treating the whole person. We are committed to caring for vulnerable patients with both physical and mental ill health in an integrated manner with better and faster diagnosis and treatment because we know that addressing mental ill health improves physical health outcomes and vice versa.
Why is the QIN needed?
We know that joined up physical and mental healthcare can help people to better manage their different conditions and improve their health outcomes. Sadly however, there remains significant unmet need. Many people with multiple conditions do not receive the care they need and deserve. We recognise there is a substantial amount of research, clinical progress, and a growing social movement that signals the importance of integrated care. However, there is no consistent framework that explains how mind and body care should be delivered and what good practice looks like.
Without a clear framework, how do we assure patients and their families that they are receiving integrated 'mind and body' care? The fact is there is no agreed ‘bar’ or standard for integrated care in the UK.
We want to change that. If we are to offer all patients and service users the best possible integrated care, we have to have a strong idea of what that actually looks like in practice.
That is why we are developing the "Mind & Body Quality Improvement Network" with our colleagues across King’s Health Partners. The QIN will:
- Set out what good practice mind and body care is, including in areas such as direct patient care, patient and community involvement, and staff health and wellbeing.
- Enable services and organisations to identify areas of good practice and reflect on areas for improvement.
- Enable learning to be shared with others and demonstrate a commitment to delivering integrated mind and body care.
Through a process of reflection and assessment, services and organisations will also be supported to make improvements in areas where they are currently struggling. The QIN is the first of its kind in the UK and abroad. No other project attempts to fully bridge the gap between physical health and mental health care.
Aims and benefits
Our aim is that the QIN will:
- Help services and providers evaluate and improve their provision of mind and body care.
- Celebrate and champion excellence in mind and body care, whilst creating a positive culture of continuous improvement.
- Empower staff to deliver exemplary mind and body care
- Enable patients to advocate for improved care.
The project will allow assessment and improvement at both the service and provider level. Facilitating a step change in how mind and body care is delivered will necessitate changes across these levels, within both organisational processes and teams.
We have outlined some of the QIN's benefits below:
To date, we have engaged with over 100 national and local stakeholders including clinicians and people with lived experience of both mental health and physical health conditions. Together, we have co-designed a framework, grouped across five themes, that will be used to assess how integrated mind and body care is being delivered, how patients and communities are involved in their care, and how well staff learning and development needs are addressed. The QIN also places an important emphasis on how effectively staff health and wellbeing is supported and how organisations’ governance and processes support the delivery of high quality, sustainable mind and body care.
We began piloting the QIN within King’s Health Partners in November 2021. This has involved significant work to develop documentation and pilot templates, identifying organisational and service leads, recruiting peer review teams and developing an approach to evaluation and impact measurement.
The reception to our efforts has been extraordinarily positive and we are delighted to announce our colleagues at King’s College Hospital (KCH), South London and Maudsley and Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trusts have successfully become members of the QIN.
Hear from some of the pioneers below:
It has been an amazing experience taking part in the QIN. It has been a particularly challenging time for everyone but particularly NHS staff. As a patient representative, I feel that I have really been an equal partner in this programme and my views have been valued and taken into account just as much as everyone else’s. I have been overawed both by the dedication of the staff in the various different departments and it has been truly heart-warming to listen to their passion, enthusiasm and dedication which shines through when they talk about their work and about how they work together.
- Expert Advisory Group Member
This is a really helpful tool in enabling us to prioritise mind and body delivery within the service.
- Cardio-respiratory service, KCH