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A healthy body is a guest-chamber for the soul; a sick body is a prison (Francis Bacon)

The King’s Fund has published a new report which shows that the psychological problems associated with physical health conditions, & vice versa, are costing the NHS more than £11bn a year and care is less effective than it could be.  The report argues that by integrating physical & mental health care the NHS can improve health outcomes and save money.

The £11bn a year is the collective cost of:

  • high rates of mental health issues among those with long-term conditions such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease
  • limited support for the psychological aspects of physical health, for example during & after pregnancy
  • poor management of ‘medically unexplained symptoms’ such as persistent pain or tiredness

The separation between physical & mental health has a high human cost: the life expectancy for people with severe mental illness (such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia) is 15 to 20 years below that of the general population, largely as a result of physical health conditions.

Researched Links:

Kings Fund:  £11bn cost of treating physical & mental health separately

NHS Confederation:  Mental Health Network welcomes the Kings Fund report on the cost of treating mental & physical health separately

NHS Confederation:  Funding for children's mental health services is not reaching the front line

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