The King’s Fund. Published online: 8th March 2016.
The King’s Fund publishes a new report today which shows that the psychological problems associated with physical health conditions, and vice versa, are costing the NHS more than £11 billion a year and care is less effective than it could be. The report argues that by integrating physical and mental health care the NHS can improve health outcomes and save money.
The £11 billion a year is the collective cost of:
- high rates of mental health issues among those with long-term conditions such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease
- limited support for the psychological aspects of physical health, for example during and after pregnancy
- poor management of ‘medically unexplained symptoms’ such as persistent pain or tiredness.
The separation between physical and mental health has a high human cost: the life expectancy for people with severe mental illness (such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia) is 15 to 20 years below that of the general population, largely as a result of physical health conditions.
Read the full report here
Read the full commentary here