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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Our Trust has been shortlisted in national award for physical checks

Published: 14/09/2016

 Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) has been shortlisted in this year’s Health Service Journal (HSJ) awards for its innovative work in delivery of NHS Health Checks to people cared for in mental health services.

NHS Health Checks are offered to all adults in England from aged 40 to 74 years by their GP. They aim to check circulatory and vascular health to identify the early warning signs of those at risk of developing life limiting or dangerous conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

In 2014, BSMHFT and Public Health Commissioners in Solihull began a trial to reach out to people living poor mental health to deliver NHS Health Checks as part of their mental health care, with astonishing results.

Sue Hartley, Director of Nursing at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted that the services, which are being delivered to people in Solihull to improve both physical and mental health, have been recognised for a national award.

“People who are living with a serious mental illness are at greater risk of poor physical health and premature death compared to that of the general population.

“We have worked in partnership with Public Health in Solihull to create health and wellbeing clinics, which are available to people outside of their GP practice and delivered at the same time as their mental health care.

“The introduction of NHS Mental Health Checks has made a huge difference to our patients, providing them with easy access to lifesaving physical health checks that detect the early warning signs of serious conditions, which could be prevented with simple lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise.”

Joint working has enabled health and wellbeing clinics in Solihull to be developed and delivered to people in Solihull, providing essential support to those who are living with problems with their mental health through the national NHS Health Check programme.

Councillor Ken Meeson, Chair of Solihull Health & Wellbeing Board said: “It’s fantastic that this programme of work has been recognised.

“The importance of NHS Health Checks to the health and wellbeing of Solihull residents is undeniable. But extending the availability of the Checks to those to those using our mental health services has made great progress towards reducing inequality and ensuring a consistent quality and level of support that is available to everyone.”

All shortlisted finalists for this year’s HSJ Awards will find out the outcome of their nomination on Wednesday 23 November 2016.