Integrating our Mental and Physical Healthcare Systems
About the project
Funded by the Maudsley Charity and hosted by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Integrating our Mental and Physical Healthcare Systems (IMPHS) is a three year project focused on closing the mortality gap for people accessing South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust services by improving the physical healthcare on offer to them.
The IMPHS project team works closely with physical health leads to support South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust‘s Physical Health Strategy, as well as supporting related projects across King’s Health Partners.
Now in its second year, the project is delivered via three workstreams: Pathways, Health Champions and Potential of Digital. Below are a number of case studies showcasing our work.
With our support, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust clinicians have been granted access to the Consultant Connect service provided by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Foundation Trusts. This service is funded by south east London Clinical Commissioning Groups. Consultant Connect offers clinician-to-consultant advice on physical health matters. Consultants, from a range of physical health specialties at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, share advice with clinicians at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust via an app on a phone or tablet, or over the phone. This service is available Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust clinicians can call Consultant Connect for routine physical health advice and guidance. This advice they might have previously sought via a written request, their local hospital switchboard or bleep system, which was often time consuming and costly.
Consultant Connect aims to improve the efficiency of our health system, by getting clinicians the information they need more quickly and helping ensure patients receive the right care first time, avoiding unnecessary hospital visits.
Virtual Physical Health Clinic
The Virtual Physical Health Clinic project, launched at our South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Hospital site, is led in collaboration with colleagues from King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
The aim of the clinic is to support physical health on inpatient wards, by providing advice and guidance for long-term condition management, supporting decision making on physical health care by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust staff, and ultimately avoiding unnecessary hospital attendances where possible.
Referrals can be made using South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s electronic patient journey system via email, telephone, or a virtual appointment. Referrals are triaged daily for phone or email responses, and video consultations are offered to clinicians on a weekly basis with either a Consultant Physician or Advanced Nurse Practitioner from King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Patients and their carers are encouraged to attend the virtual appointments.
‘Health Champions’ is a project that trains volunteers to support a South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust service users with their physical health. This intervention lasts for nine months, with the Health Champion and service user meeting once a week. This is a Trust-wide project, and we aim to recruit 100 service user participants from Community Teams across the four South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust boroughs: Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.
If you are interested in volunteering at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, there are lots of ways to get involved. Please get in touch, via get Involved: volunteering and other opportunities.
Beth is a free, online platform that promotes mental health self-management and creates opportunities to improve communication between South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust service users, carers and clinicians.
Being able to improve communication has become particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic and is part of a bigger change in how the Trust is providing care, as well as how service users receive care and stay connected. Friendly and easy to use, Beth has been developed solely for use by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and can be accessed via a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Service users are encouraged to register. Specifically, the IMPHS project has invested in the development of physical health resources within Beth. Currently, we are working towards integration of physical health clinical records in the platform, allowing us to offer tailored advice and guidance to our service users.
Research and evaluation
It is hoped that any changes we make to physical healthcare within South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and its partner organisations, either by improving and integrating existing pathways and systems or through the adoption of new initiatives, will be of interest to other NHS Trusts and external organisations. We hope our work will be useful in planning for service development, and that it can be used to provide recommendations for future practice and research.
Evaluation of this IMPHS is being led by researchers from King’s College London – Centre for Implementation Science in collaboration with colleagues from King’s College London – Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience: Department for Psychosis Studies and the universities of East Anglia and Southampton.
If you would like to get in contact with one of the IMPHS project team, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org