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Achieving parity of esteem

Kate Dale discusses how one trust is providing physical health checks for mental health patients

I have worked as a mental health nurse for over 35 years, working in various settings including in-patients in an acute setting. Over the past 20 years I've been working as a community psychiatric nurse (CPN) and more recently as a project lead at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust.

During the past 12 years, I have been particularly interested in the physical health of people with a serious mental illness (SMI). This began when I took a secondment opportunity with a national pilot scheme which was set up by the then local Primary Care Trust (Bradford and Airedale PCT). The scheme was focused on the physical health of patients with SMI. This gave me an opportunity to develop my skills and work with patients in a truly holistic way. It was important to me that we weren't just focusing on a person's mental health. The outcome findings were very interesting. One example revealed that 5% of the patients in the group were diagnosed, or borderline, type 2 diabetics.

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