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Monday 24th October 2016

Call for better schizophrenia care

13th December 2012

The first National Audit of Schizophrenia has warned that significant improvements are needed if the lives of sufferers are to improve.

Management of physical health problems, prescribing practice and consultation with service users were among areas of concern.

It found that practices such as prescribing more than one anti-psychotic drug at the same time – which is only recommended in exceptional circumstances – was occurring in 16% of trusts and up to 30% in some organisations.

Other users were also receiving higher doses of medication than was recommended.

Professor Stephen Cooper, clinical lead to the National Audit of Schizophrenia, said: “The correct prescribing of medicines for those with schizophrenia is a key part of their treatment.

“This audit shows good practice for the majority of affected individuals but there remain some areas of concern, particularly in relation to situations where more than one medicine is being prescribed.”

While many patients were involved in discussions about their care, only 29% of service users received an adequate assessment of risk factors for cardio-metabolic disease.

The report recommended greater involvement of service users and carers in developing local action plans for improving the care and that psychiatrists should be aware of upper dose limits for prescribing anti-psychotic medication.

The audit was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and conducted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI) and other organisations.

However, the CCQI suggested financial pressures on mental health services were making it harder to deliver high quality care and some services were coping better than others.


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