SMI health checks
The NHS has committed to ensure that 60% of people with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) receive a comprehensive physical health-check, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. People with SMI face reduced life expectancy of 15-20 years when compared with the general population, and evidence shows they have been disproportionately impacted in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, including significantly higher mortality rates.
As part of the revised Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) requirements for 2020/21, practices have been asked to identify their most clinically vulnerable patients for proactive review, including those with an SMI, and ensure that are offered the following:
- Access to flu vaccinations for people with SMI who are eligible under the NHS free flu programme;
- Completion of the annual comprehensive physical health check where appropriate and adapting service provision to meet service user choice. This could include completing some elements of the check remotely where possible; and
- A care plan review where this is deemed appropriate.
Some people with SMI may require additional outreach and support to access their flu vaccinations and/or physical health checks. Areas may wish to consider working with local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) partners to provide outreach and engagement support to facilitate access to these vital services.