Status of primary and secondary mental health care of people with severe mental illness: An epidemiological study from the UK PARTNERS2 programme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Authors

  • Siobhan Reilly
  • Catherine McCabe
  • Maria Green
  • Linda Davies
  • Natalie Ives
  • Jon Allard
  • Tim Rawcliffe
  • John Gibson
  • Michael Clark
  • Vanessa Pinfold
  • Linda Gask
  • Peter Huxley
  • Richard Byng
  • Max Birchwood

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Background
There is global interest in the reconfiguration of community mental health services, including primary care, to improve clinical and cost effectiveness.

Aims
This study seeks to describe patterns of service use, continuity of care, health risks, physical healthcare monitoring and the balance between primary and secondary mental healthcare for people with severe mental illness in receipt of secondary mental healthcare in the UK.

Method
We conducted an epidemiological medical records review in three UK sites. We identified 297 cases randomly selected from the three participating mental health services. Data were manually extracted from electronic patient medical records from both secondary and primary care, for a 2-year period (2012–2014). Continuous data were summarised by mean and s.d. or median and interquartile range (IQR). Categorical data were summarised as percentages.

Results
The majority of care was from secondary care practitioners: of the 18 210 direct contacts recorded, 76% were from secondary care (median, 36.5; IQR, 14–68) and 24% were from primary care (median, 10; IQR, 5–20). There was evidence of poor longitudinal continuity: in primary care, 31% of people had poor longitudinal continuity (Modified Modified Continuity Index ≤0.5), and 43% had a single named care coordinator in secondary care services over the 2 years.

Conclusions
The study indicates scope for improvement in supporting mental health service delivery in primary care. Greater knowledge of how care is organised presents an opportunity to ensure some rebalancing of the care that all people with severe mental illness receive, when they need it. A future publication will examine differences between the three sites that participated in this study.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere53
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Volume7
Issue number2
Early online date15 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • primary healthcare, community mental healthcare, severe mental illness, service utilisation, continuity of care