This Government has legislated for equal priority for mental and physical health. Our mental health policy supports the developing of an integrated response to people with both mental and physical health problems to avoid diagnostic overshadowing and ensure the delivery of holistic care that properly addresses physical health care needs.
The physical health care of people with mental health problems is a key component of the Parity of Esteem programme. The importance of the issue has been reinforced by the introduction of the first national CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation) for mental health inpatients. This requires NHS trusts to implement physical health checks for all inpatients. NHS England is working in partnership with the Royal College of Psychiatrists, amongst others, to promote the CQUIN.
Physical health checks form a key part of any care plan for mental health service users, including assurance of annual physical health checks by Care Coordinators overseen by their local general practitioner.
NHS England is also working with a range of partners and service users to look at ways of improving physical health outcomes in secure mental health settings. This includes a range of physical health outcomes such as promoting healthier lifestyles for service users as well as looking at overall wellbeing.