We are happy to publish the report from our Peer Research into Experiences of Treatment and Support for Physical Health Issues.
You can read the report here:
A large print version will be produced shortly.
A summary of the report is below.
We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who responded to the research and to the peer researchers.
If you would like to be involved in what Edinburgh Community Voices do next with this work, please contact Becky – [email protected], 0131 554 5307.
You can find the report from our peer research into Experiences of Side Effects of Mental Health Medication here:
We heard from 14 people.
They told us about a range of conditions and symptoms they
sought help or received treatment for.
A range of professionals were involved in their care or
treatment, including GPs, nurses, consultants, physiotherapists and
occupational therapists. For some
people, mental health professionals were involved as well as physical health
professionals at some point in their care.
Things people were happy with included:
listened to, believed, treated with respect and taken seriously
treated with compassion / staff being kind and caring
being made to make it easier to attend appointments
investigations into symptoms
health professionals and mental health professionals being in regular contact
Things people were not happy with included:
physical health being ignored
impact of their physical health issues not being recognised
in referral for tests
with how GP appointments are arranged
with how GP appointments are carried out
discussions of side effects of physical health medication
adjustments not being made
of communication between physical health professionals and mental health
health needs not being met for inpatients in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital
Most of the things that people told
us made it easier to get help were related to appointments with their GP,
either because they find it easy to get an appointment, because of how their GP
carries out appointments or things their GP does, or because of other services
their GP practice provides.
Some people felt that they were treated differently in a bad
way. Some felt that they were treated
differently and that this was in a good way, they got the extra help or
adjustments that they needed. Some
people felt that they were not treated differently and that this not right,
that there were adjustments that should have been made. Others felt that they were not treated
differently and that this was good because their mental health diagnosis did
not affect the standard of service they received and they were not stigmatised
Some people did feel listened to, some people felt listened
to in part and some people did not feel listened to at all.
These are the things that people told us would have made
their care better for them:
home visit by an occupational therapist to assess their physical health needs
integration and interdisciplinary working between NHS departments
acupuncture and massage
whole life looked at not just their physical health
health services not discriminating on the basis of mental illness
treatment options offered
recognition of impact of physical health medication side effects
had more social support, e.g. a friend to help them when unwell
These are the wider changes they identified which could be
made to improve the care that people with lived experience of mental health issues
receive for physical health issues.
to, believe and help us
dismiss physical health
funding for improving physical healthcare for people with mental health issues
people with mental health issues to take part in screening programmes (e.g.
mobile triage service within Community Mental Health Services
prevent people from joining the Pain Management Programme because of a severe
mental health diagnosis
key person responsible for prescribing pain and psychiatric medication
team working between GP, physio, psychiatry, psychology, neurological services,
with key lead
that the pain is real and not all in someone’s head
key worker, volunteer or advocate
training on mental health for medical staff in general hospitals
consistency and awareness of staff, both mental health and physical health