A digital place for people who access services, carers, staff and partner agencies, to share ideas around care co-ordination & care planning in mental health

Guest post from Andria Hanbury regarding physical health care; please share your views through voting on the poll and leaving your comments:


My name is Andria and I have been seconded to the trust to lead on projects aimed at improving different aspects of clinical practice. One such project that I am currently working on is aimed at improving physical health care across the trust. To make sure that the action plan developed as part of this project is evidence-based and targets what it needs to target, we are seeking feedback regarding what people accessing mental health services feel the main challenges are to receiving physical health care.

Could you please take a look at the list below, drawn from published academic research papers, and feedback whether you feel it captures the main challenges from a service-user perspective? If not, what do you feel needs adding in or removing? The majority are focussed on physical health care provided at the doctor’s surgery (primary care), so if there are any issues relating to physical health care within the trust, please feel free to highlight these. Thanks for your time.

Barriers/challenges to accessing physical health care:

  1. Belief that when attend an appointment at the GP surgery, the GP’s lack interpersonal skills
  2. Belief that physical health care needs won’t be taken seriously
  3. Fear of/not wanting certain tests or procedures
  4. Difficulty in communicating physical health problems
  5. Lack of advocate/social support
  6. Anxiety in busy waiting room at the GP surgery
  7. Difficulty getting continuous care from the same health professional at GP surgery




Comments on: "Physical health care: barriers and challenges" (6)

  1. Katie Puplett said:

    I also think sometimes a person with mental health problems can lack insight into their physical health and it is less of a priority for them. If the patient doesn’t flag up concerns or physical health symptoms then a GP won’t focus on them. I think in our setting the real worry in terms of physical health care is a lack of general medical training and experience. Increasingly as nursing staff and medics specialise only in mental health there are less and less people in a mental health setting that can recognise, effectively diagnose and treat physical health problems.


    • Andria Hanbury said:

      Hi Katie. Thanks for your feedback. Yes, the lack of general medical training and experience has been raised by some staff. Next week we will post a more detailed summary of the barriers to improving physical health care, which includes those from a health professional’s perspective rather than just from a service-user’s perspective, and lack of skills/confidence features on the list. Thank you for highlighting it as it helps reassure that the barriers identified so far – from published research papers- apply locally.


  2. Becky Vickers said:

    Please can you also consider people with Learning Disabilities who face the same problems. Our Community LD teams are mental health worker dominated, many nurses rely on primary care to deliver physical health interventions, therapists are often lone voices advocating for physical health of service users in the MDT and joint working with primary care is really difficult, leaving very vulnerable service users without a well rounded physical health care screening, treatment and monitoring. They are also often reliant on carers being able to recognise physical health problems and report them to the appropriate health care professional. Some health care professionals make this more difficult because it is not clear who is responsible for which bits of health. I would love to be involved in this further if needed.


    • Andria Hanbury said:

      Hi Becky. Thanks for these comments, its really helpful to have LD emphasised, especially as there are issues potentially unique to that area of care. The aim is to develop recommendations on how to improve physical health care which apply trust-wide, so the issues that you have flagged up will be included in the summary of barriers/challenges which we need to tackle. By all means contact me by email direct if you would like to get involved: andria.hanbury@nhs.net. I have contacted various ward managers and team leaders to try and ensure that the barriers are shared across the trust, with LD included in these plans. Thanks again


  3. Dr Louise Bergin said:

    NHS England have been sharing information about a physical health improvement scheme in Bradford for people with MH difficulties.

    For information:

    Dr Louise Bergin


    • Andria Hanbury said:

      Thanks Louise. Yes, Helen Wiseman and I plan to go to an Academic Health Science Network event next week where the Bradford work is to be presented on and discussed. I am unsure as to whether this work has been evaluated or not, so will ask them regarding this next week. Thanks for flagging it up


Please share your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

Dr. Sally Pezaro

Personal Academic Blog: This is the research blog of Dr. Sally Pezaro. Sally is an academic midwife working to secure excellence in maternity services. Specialist interests include psychological wellbeing in midwifery populations, the use of social media in research, teaching and professional regulation.



The Mental Nurse

The inane ramblings of a mental health nursing student in the UK.

Academic Irregularities

Critical university studies, discourse and managerialism


Sharing all things mental health nursing, service user and carer involvement, care planning, Care Programme Approach, recovery and wellbeing

The Academic Triangle

Teaching, Research and Admin


The evolving tale of my PhD as it happens

Blogs on Nursing

June Girvin

gate: The General Assessment Tool

The General Assessment Tool

Graeme Cumming

Author, Speaker, Blogger

Patient Leader

My continuing journey as a Patient Leader


Excellence in nursing and AHP education

The Academy of Fabulous Stuff

Sharing all the fabulous things about the NHS.

Mental Health Cop

A venn diagram of policing, mental health and criminal justice

Critical Mental Health Nurses' Network

Working together to reclaim mental health nursing

%d bloggers like this: