By Charles Harrison
A leading South London mental health trust is the first to use a streamlining system to better treat their physical illnesses too.
The Consultant Connect system allows clinicians at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) to contact nearby hospital doctors in over 80 specialties for recommendations on their patients, without the need for a full referral.
People diagnosed with a serious mental illness have a reduced life expectancy of between 15 and 20 years, due to their worse physical health.
But two-thirds of the time, use of Consultant Connect by clinicians at SLaM has successfully enabled them to treat their patient’s physical as well as mental health over the last year.
Ray McGrath, the lead nurse with SLaM’s Integrating our Mental and Physical Healthcare Systems Project, said: “During the Covid19 pandemic the potential of Consultant Connect really began to shine through, because it became really important to avoid unnecessary transfers between hospitals due to increased infection risk.”
Consultant Connect is already widely used all over the NHS, but SLaM are the first mental health trust to make use of it.
They have done so over 650 times since joining the scheme in June 2020.
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.