NHS leaders call to close mental illness ‘mortality gap’

A recent Guardian Society article asserts that NHS leaders are calling on those who are commissioning services to help close the “shocking mortality gap” that sees people with mental illness have life expectancies about 10 years shorter than the population as a whole.

The article states that NHS leaders are calling on those who are commissioning services to help close the “shocking mortality gap” that sees people with mental illness have life expectancies about 10 years shorter than the population as a whole.

Targeted cancer screening, regular checks for cardiovascular and physical health and smoking cessation programmes should all be improved, according to a blunt message from NHS England. Putting mental health services on an equal footing with those tackling physical health would be a first step to tackling the disparity, NHS England officials will tell a meeting in Manchester on Monday.

The article quotes Geraldine Strathdee, National Clinical Director for Mental Health, NHS England as saying

“We must design a service that meets the needs of its users, and not expect users to fit in with the services we design.

We must also work hard to prevent those with physical health problems developing mental health issues. It is clear to me that physical and mental health issues cannot be separated – and our approach to care must change to reflect this.”

Read the full Guardian Society article