Holistic approach to patient care encouraged

The Royal College of Nursing has stressed that every patient’s mental and physical health should be given equal attention, across all health care settings.

The nursing has launched its #MakingParityReality initiative, after looking at how mental and physical health feed into one another and what nursing staff can do to make parity a reality. The campaign will share key insights and actions to help nursing staff make changes in their NHS workplace.

This can be asking patients how they are doing both physically and mentally, setting up a working group of like-minded staff to help make changes across the workplace or identifying community services to refer patients to.

Tim Coupland, who leads the RCN parity of esteem project, said: “Currently, people with severe mental illnesses die 15-20 years earlier than the general population. We can all play our part in changing this by addressing people’s mental health with the same urgency as we do physical health and ensuring that people with complex mental health issues are supported to look after their physical well-being. We also need to consider how physical health issues affect our patients’ mental health.”

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