An Ealing team of mental health experts has expanded its care to include clinics on physical health.
The West London Mental Health Trust, which normally treats people in a severe mental health crisis, launched the scheme to address the issue of physical illnesses.
Those who are suffering from mental health illnesses have a higher risk of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, strokes, respiratory problems and obesity, according to the trust.
Developed by the trust's crisis resolution and home treatment team, the new clinics have been helping patients with a range of health problems, including allergies, diet, sexual health and blood sugar testing.
Ed Sammons, who runs the clinic, said: "I'm extremely pleased that we're able to offer this service.
"There's a wealth of evidence that shows how closely linked mental and physical health problems are, and how this can impact on people's lives."
Already helped patients with range of issues
He added: "For example, the risk factors linked to heart disease are common among people with schizophrenia.
"The fact that we’ve already managed to help service users with a variety of health problems shows just how important it is we’ve started this clinic.”
Patients have expressed their appreciation for the trust's work and said they have since been linked to other services which helped them recover, whether it was the gym, or to dieticians.
Physical health screenings used in the clinics also mean people are less likely to be admitted to A&E, as issues are spotted before they become life-threatening.
The clinic has since gone on to get a four rating from the CORE Fidelity Study, a programme which aims to improve the standard of crisis teams.
Puja Sahai, who helped to manage and develop the clinic, said: “I am really passionate about offering service users an integrated approach to physical and mental healthcare, and addressing the huge gap in life expectancy.
"To improve the clinic for the future, we are in the process of linking up with GPs and other healthcare providers to deliver a more seamless package of care.”
"We potentially had prevented him from going on to have a stroke or heart attack"
Speaking to Getwestlondon, the trust shared the story of someone who came to the clinic and was able to get the attention needed.
"One gentlemen that we worked with was in his 40s and thought he was physically very well, so did not want to come to the hospital and was seen at home instead.
"However he had dangerously high blood pressure – we would ideally expect people’s blood pressure to be around 120/80, however in his case it was around 210/110.
"The British Heart Foundation recognise high blood pressure as one of the most critical risk factors for a person having a stroke, which is why it is so important that we monitor issues such as this.
"Having recognised that he had dangerously high blood pressure we were able to arrange for him to start an anti-hypertensive medication within 24 hours in consultation with his GP, and potentially had prevented him from going on to have a stroke or heart attack."