The role of mental health services in improving care for long-term conditions

The King's Fund

Event highlights

Research has shown that there are benefits from integrating mental and physical health care, especially for people with long-term conditions. This conference brought together professionals from both physical and mental health services to understand where these system efficiencies and savings can be found and what improvements can be made across the patient pathway.

Presentations and talks from this event

Dr Hugh Griffiths, Acting National Clinical Director for Mental Health, Department of Health, outlines the key themes of the government’s mental health strategy for England and looks at how outcomes for people with physical and mental health conditions can be improved.

Dr Paul Gill, Consultant Psychiatrist at Sheffield Liaison Psychiatry Service, explains what liaison psychiatry is and how it can help achieve better outcomes across secondary and acute points of care. 

Dr Alan Cohen, West London Mental Health Trust, and Professor Andre Tylee, King’s College London, explain how the IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) programme has been helping treat chronic conditions.



Session one: The policy imperative

Welcome and introduction
Chris Naylor, Fellow, Health Policy, The King's Fund

Improving health outcomes for people with long-term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms
Dr Hugh Griffiths, Acting National Clinical Director for Mental Health, Department of Health

Questions and discussion

Session two: Supporting health professionals to lead change

Welcome back
Chair: Steve Shrubb, Director, Mental Health Network, NHS Confederation

How can we better support the mental health needs of people with physical illness in primary care?
Dr Chris Manning, Fellow of the International Society for Affective Disorders and Mental Health Lead, College of Medicine

The value of psychiatric liaison services: providing better outcomes across secondary and acute points of care
Dr Paul Gill, Consultant Psychiatrist at Sheffield Liaison Psychiatry Service and Chair of the PLAN Accreditation Committee, Royal College of Psychiatrists

IAPT Programme: incorporating psychological therapies in the treatment of chronic conditions
Dr Alan Cohen, Director of Primary Care, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme

Questions and discussion

Session three: Workshops

A: Integrating community, mental health and social care services: improving local health and wellbeing and avoiding hospital admissions

  • Nigel Barton, Operations Director (mental health, learning disability and substance misuse), Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust
  • Josie Spencer, Director of Operations (Community Services), Coventry Community Health Services
  • Zandrea Stewart, Service Manager, Learning Disabilities Community Services, Coventry City Council

B: Using mental health expertise more effectively in acute hospital care to improve the quality of care

  • Professor George Tadros, Consultant Psychiatrist, Queen Elizabeth Psychiatric Hospital, Birmingham

C: GP-led commissioning of mental health services

  • Dr Amit Bhargava, Joint Lead, GP Commissioning Federation, NHS Alliance
    Dr Caroline Dollery, GP, Danbury Medical Centre and Mid Essex GP Lead for IAPT

D: An analysis of the benefits of commissioning across pathways

  • Matt Fossey, Centre for Mental Health
  • Dr John Hague, Centre for Mental Health Associate and NHS East of England GP Clinical Lead, IAPT Programme
  • Kevin Jarman, IAPT Programme Operations, Delivery and Finance Lead, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)

Session four: Panel Discussion

Welcome back
Chair: Sean Duggan, Chief Executive, Centre for Mental Health

Panellists include:

  • Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust
  • Dr Neil Deuchar, Consultant Psychiatrist; Medical Director (Mental Health) NHS West Midlands; Associate Registrar (Medical Management) and Commissioning Lead, Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Dr Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive, Mental Health Foundation
  • Michael Parsonage, Economist, Centre for Mental Health

Panellists will be asked to consider the following questions followed by an opportunity for interaction from the floor:

  • The economic case: what returns can commissioners/providers expect to get from investing in mental health support for people with physical illnesses?
  • The practicalities: what barriers can be encountered in trying to integrate mental and physical health care? How can these be overcome?
  • Good practice: what are the best models to draw on? How can we disseminate them more widely?
  • The NHS reforms: what risks/opportunities do they create? How can we make the most of the opportunity presented by the transfer of PCT community services to mental health trusts?
  • The future: are we moving towards a future where underlying mental health/psychological needs are addressed as a matter of course as part of mainstream health care?

Summary and closing comments
Chris Naylor, Senior Researcher, Policy, The King's Fund