Psychosis Health Integration Team (HIT) Directors Dr Sarah Sullivan, Dr Simon Downer and Dr Martin Jones give an update on what they've achieved since being endorsed by the Bristol Health Partners Executive in October 2015.
People with a serious mental illness have a right to a quality of life that is on a par with the healthy population. But compared with the general population, people with psychosis are more likely to be socially excluded, unemployed and have a shorter life expectancy.
The Psychosis Health Integration Team works to improve the lives of people with psychosis in Bristol and to make the city a national leader in psychosis services, support and treatment. We aim to hear the voices of people who experience psychosis, their families and carers and those of staff in mental health services.
Bristol Health Partners endorsed us as a HIT in October 2015 and since then we have been establishing our work streams. Our work is informed by the active involvement of people with psychosis, their families and carers. We held an event on 23 February 2016 with our patient and public involvement group to help shape the focus of our plans and give us extra insight. Continuing this dialogue at every level of our work is a priority for the HIT.
We have agreed to focus on eight areas: improving access to employment opportunities for people that feel able to work; improving experiences of hospitalisation; improving physical health outcomes; better integration of care pathways; greater emphasis on the relationship with trauma; better engagement with families and networks; more caring crisis response; and improving the health of staff who work with people with psychosis.
We start from a strong position of enthusiasm and existing work led by members of our team. For example, a pilot study of communications between primary and secondary care which concluded in March 2016 will form the basis of new, larger scale work later in the year. Our first meeting since endorsement as a HIT had 21 attendees committing to join and lead our work streams.
We are looking forward to appointing a Peer Director to help lead the HIT and offer the crucial perspective of users and carers in the leadership team. We’ll be formally launching the HIT in June 2016 at a special event which includes a film screening.