The programme

People with a serious mental illness (SMI) are at risk of dying prematurely, in some cases 20 years earlier than the general population. Many of these deaths are preventable if conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular problems are identified and treated early.

We are leading the spread and adoption of the use of the Mental Health Physical Health Review template in primary care to help address this issue.

The Mental Health Physical Health Review template was originally designed, piloted and implemented by a team from Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust (BDCFT)  in collaboration with the area’s primary care organisations.

It is a short, electronic physical health assessment template for healthcare professionals in primary care responsible for carrying out annual health checks for patients with serious mental illness.  The template has been adapted for use on SystmOne and EMIS and is available nationally.  It can also be used on secondary care systems with adaptation.  A video that describes and showcases the template can be viewed here

To support training in the use of the template, we have commissioned and developed an e-Learning module in partnership with the Virtual College to support implementation.

This module introduces the tool to healthcare professionals in primary care and signposts to useful resources.

Please note:  You will need to register your details before you can access the e-Learning module.

Other useful resources can be found on the right hand side of this page.


People with serious mental health problems are at a significantly higher risk of developing preventable chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Evidence shows that people with SMI die up to 20 years younger than the average population. Preventable cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the major cause of death.

Untreated physical illness in people with mental health problems also places a major burden on health systems by increasing use of unplanned and urgent health care.

How are we helping?

Our Mental Health Physical Health programme will support delivery of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health objective that, from 2018/19 onwards, at least 60 per cent of people on the SMI register should receive a comprehensive annual physical health assessment and follow up care.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends annual physical health checks for people with serious mental illness.

Our Impact to date

Our programme continues to spread across the country and is helping to tackle the issue of people with an SMI dying prematurely from identifiable and treatable physical health issues. In the first three months of the template going live on SystmOne, 10,000 consultations took place.

It has now been adopted in 129 CCGs across England covering more than 600 organisations including primary care, mental health trusts, community health providers and prisons.

The template is also included as a resource in NHS England’s improving physical healthcare for people living with SMI in primary care.

This supports CCG level planning and increasing access to and improving the quality of physical health care for people with SMI in primary care settings

Independent evaluation found rollout of the template and interventions across Yorkshire and Humber could save the NHS in our region over £1 million per year. The implementation of the template has also been published in NICE’s Shared Learning Collection.

Next Steps

We will:

  • Evaluate the impact of the use of the Mental Health Physical Health Review template to assess the difference it has made to the healthcare of people with an SMI
  • Continue to promote the e-Learning package
  • Work with local STPs and ICS to encourage networking and the spread of good practice, including the use of innovative healthcare interventions for people with SMI
  • Provide support to local STPs and ICS to facilitate the use of the template
  • Look for other opportunities to encourage spread and adoption of the template