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Clients experiencing Severe Mental Ill health have a lower life expectancy than the general population. The annual health check is a great opportunity to catch any potential issues early and promote the health and wellness agenda.

The project offered annual health checks at the monthly group on an appointment or drop-in basis. We felt a group environment was a good opportunity to reinforce positive behaviour change, though of course health checks were conducted privately with a Recovery College worker.

Mind in Bexley were able to conduct all testing and advice bar the blood test. Results from the health check were forwarded to the GP and clients were advised to contact their GP to get the bloodwork completed.

We also made sure the referral pathway was easy for GP’s to use and built the Digital Accelerator group into the Mind in Bexley referral form on GPS’ DSX platform.

3 Annual health checks delivered

New single point of access established for GPs

Recommendations for the future of health checks captured and shared

Awareness of health check offer raised through promotion via GPs, pharmacies and direct to clients

LEARNINGS

  • We found that barriers to entry typically related to skills and not access. Most clients had some kind of access to the internet – at the very least a smart phone. They just hadn’t the skills to use it to its full potential.
  • Our experience delivering sessions to this cohort let us to believe that 1-2-1s were the most suitable format given the very different rates of learning, attentions spans and ability to recall previous sessions.
  • This cohort is time consuming to recruit and manage. Any project investing in this cohort needs to account for the additional effort required to engage and not make assumptions or rules based on experiences with other cohorts. “3 strikes and out” is not a rule that can be employed with this group.

Importance of annual health check poster