Pre-conference workshop 1

Meeting the challenge of reducing mortality from physical health problems in people with severe and enduring mental health problems

09:30 - 12:00 on Wednesday 12th July 2017

Chair: Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham


Who should attend this workshop?

  • Clinicians wanting to deliver whole person care to people living with severe and enduring mental health problems
  • Researchers interested in understanding and improving care in this area

What will I learn at the workshop?

This workshop, aims to support primary care practitioners fulfil their responsibility to prevent and manage cardiovascular and metabolic problems in people with SMI, and appeal to researchers interested in this area of research.

The workshop will begin with David Shiers describing his family’s experiences of caring for someone developing psychosis, and witnessing the side-effects of treatment.

We will discuss the current evidence-base for intervention and share good practice about what can be done to improve care – both in primary and specialist care, and across the interface. Including two new areas of research:

Simon Gilbody will discuss the SCIMITAR trial – Smoking cessation for people with severe mental illness: a pilot study and definitive randomised evaluation of a bespoke service, and describe how recruitment of this vulnerable and hard-to-reach group was achieved.

Richard Holt  will discuss STEPWISE: STructured lifestyle Education for People WIth SchizophrEnia, which is a trial across ten community mental health trusts in England.

Clinicians will take away practical ideas on how they can improve the physical health of people with SMI. Researchers will gain insights in to recruiting people with SMI to trials.


Why is this workshop important?

Compared to the general population, the life expectancy of people with severe mental illness (SMI) is reduced by around 15-20 years, with:

  • a three-times increased risk of premature death
  • about 75% of deaths being caused by physical disorders
  • cardiovascular disease as the single biggest and potentially preventable cause of premature mortality, more common than suicide

The early phase of psychosis is a critical period for preventing or modifying cardiometabolic risk, avoiding premature death and reducing health inequalities. Weight gain and metabolic disturbance occur early in the course of psychosis, accelerating within weeks of treatment initiation. Health risk behaviours including smoking, alcohol and drug misuse, poor nutrition and physical inactivity are common and are powerfully influenced by the social determinants of health. Furthermore, poorly organised health services often impede access for people with severe mental illness because doctors across the primary/specialist interface dispute responsibility for attending to these risks.

Who is delivering the workshop?

David Shiers (Honorary Reader in early psychosis with the University of Manchester and a former GP from North Staffordshire)

Simon Gilbody (Professor of Psychological Medicine and Director of York Mental Health and Addictions Research Group, University of York and Hull-York Medical School)

Richard Holt (Professor in Diabetes and Endocrinology, Human Development and Health Academic Unit, University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine)

Carolyn Chew-Graham (Professor of General Practice Research, University of Keele) will Chair the workshop.

Attendance cost per person: £50 - bookable via on-line registration.