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People with mental health problems in Sussex and East Surrey live up to 20 years less than the general population

People with mental health problems in Sussex and East Surrey live up to 20 years less than the general population according to new research published today.

The research is published by Sussex and East Surrey Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), which brings 24 health and social care organisations together to focus on how patient care can be improved within the resources available.

Other key research findings:

  • Mental health service users are around 2-4 times more likely to die of cancer, circulatory or respiratory disease than the rest of the population.
  • The inequality gap between people who use mental health services and the wider population widens as people age: people aged 65 are likely to have around 50-60% of the remaining life expectancy of the population not in contact with mental health services.
  • Approximately 20% of all A&E attendances and emergency admissions can be attributed to mental health service users, who make up only 7% of the overall population. 

Sussex and East Surrey STP has identified mental health as one of its priorities.

The partnership is undertaking a review of how mental health services are funded, planned and provided across the area.

The review will look at how the voluntary sector, local authorities and NHS can work better together to meet the needs of the patients, carers, families and local communities we serve. It will be completed by early Autumn 2017.

Sam Allen is CEO of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and responsible for chairing the Sussex and east Surrey STP mental health review, supported by Wendy Carberry, Chief Officer for High Weald Lewes and Havens Clinical Commissioning Group.

Sam said: “The fact you end up living up to 20 years less if you are someone using mental health services is truly shocking. It shows that health and social care services aren’t meeting the physical health needs of people with mental health problems.”

“Getting a grip on this is about saving lives. It’s also about making sure we use every penny of public money as wisely and effectively as possible. By reducing smoking rates among people with mental health problems, for example, we could reduce 1,000 hospital admissions a year, saving £1.8m that could be invested elsewhere.”

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