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Tool for assessing physical health in mentally ill

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A new tool has been released by NHS England and Public Health England to help primary care nurses and other frontline staff assess cardiac and metabolic health for people with mental illness.

The Lester Tool is a summary poster to guide health workers to assess the cardiometabolic health of people experiencing psychosis and schizophrenia.

The poster provides recommendations around a number of health issues such as smoking history, lifestyle, BMI, blood pressure, glucose regulation and blood lipids. They then offer the appropriate interventions to improve the patient's physical health.

It aims to enable staff to help reduce health inequalities for those with mental illness.

Geraldine Strathdee, NHS England's national clinical director for mental health, said: ‘People with severe mental illness, including schizophrenia, are at risk of dying up to 15-20 years before the general population, and the case for closing the gap in mortality and quality of life for people with severe mental illness is clear.

‘It is our hope that by publishing this downloadable resource, in partnership with Public Health England, that doctors and nurses will be able to consult it regularly to monitor, and intervene to improve the health of service users, thus helping reduce premature mortality in people experiencing serious mental illness.'

The poster can be downloaded and printed and can form the basis of team learning and CPD events.

It has been produced in collaboration with NHS England's clinical directors for cardiovascular disease, diabetes liver and renal disease.

The poster can be downloaded here:

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