A national strategy is needed to tackle health risks linked to antipsychotic drugs because current policy is letting tens of thousands of people fall through the gaps, commissioners in London are warning.
Commissioners and clinicians in City and Hackney found more than 1,000 patients in their area who were on these drugs without having regular medication reviews or health checks. They warned that, if their findings applied across England, 100,000 patients could be in the same position.
Although NHS England funds GP practices to carry out regular health checks on patients who are on the serious mental illness register, this excludes patients who are prescribed antipsychotics without having an SMI diagnosis — which typically covers psychoses, schizophrenia or bipolar active disorder.
An audit by City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group, carried out in July 2019 and shared with HSJ, found 1,200 patients in the area were taking antipsychotics but did not have a formal SMI diagnosis.
The audit found most of these patients were not receiving regular health checks and a significant number may have benefited from having their medication reduced.
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Source: HSJ, 27 January 2020