Psychological medicine: Integrating mental and physical healthcare for patients
IMPARTS (Integrating Mental and Physical health: Research Training and Services) is a flagship King’s Health Partners project hosted in the Psychological Medicine and Integrated Care Clinical Academic Group. IMPARTS provides a platform to allow outpatient services to provide better integrated mental and physical healthcare. It explicitly addresses the tripartite mission (excellence in clinical care, research and education) of King’s Health Partners, and leverages the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) at the Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at the Maudsley’s strengths in informatics.
King's Health Partners are committed to joining up mental and physical healthcare, training and research to improve health outcomes for our patients and service users.
The mind and body are inseparable, and mental and physical health conditions are often connected. When mental and physical health problems are combined, people are less able to manage their conditions properly and their health outcomes become worse. Read our mind and body resources for more information on this.
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.
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.
IMPARTS is an initiative funded by King’s Health Partners to integrate mental and physical healthcare in research, training and clinical services at Guy’s, St Thomas’s and King’s College Hospitals, as well as South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
The IMPARTS package for physical healthcare settings is designed to support clinical teams in providing timely, tailored, evidence-based care to patients presenting at King’s Health Partner’s acute trusts. IMPARTS is now active in more than 40 services across our partner trusts, and more than 15,000 individuals have taken part. The IMPARTS platform consists of five components, including: informatics; pathways; training; self-help materials; and research.
Patients attending clinics use an electronic tablet device to enter data about their clinical state, which is uploaded in real-time to their electronic health record and made available to their clinician. Information on physical conditions is combined with measures of depression, anxiety and smoking. Meanwhile, the information collected forms a research database which can be routinely accessed to gain patient consent for contact for future research projects.
IMPARTS was highly commended in the ‘Integrating Physical and Mental Healthcare’ category, at the Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards. The team was also recognised in the Innovation in Mental Health category at the HSJ Awards, for their pioneering work to provide joined up mental and physical healthcare to our patients and service users.