How to address the physical needs of clients in a mental health setting

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Nutmeg Hallett and Alistair Hewison describe a nurse-led initiative to improve the care of patients in a medium secure unit. A bottom-up approach was used to identify the issues, with staff across all wards contributing solutions

People with mental health illness, particularly those affected in the long term, experience higher rates of morbidity and mortality than the general population. It is, therefore, crucial to meet their physical health needs as part of delivering a high quality service. This article reports on how nurses in a medium secure mental health unit used the ‘plan, do, study, act’ approach (Deming 1986) as a practice improvement tool to introduce a system of monitoring the physical health of service users.

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