Nearly one in four areas of England has unacceptably high rates of early deaths among people with mental health problems, a report suggests.The warning by independent experts funded by the Cabinet Office came after they looked at deaths before 75 in 2011-12 in more than 200 local areas.
In each area, the premature mortality rate was higher among those with mental health problems.But in 51 areas, it was judged to be “particularly worrying”.
It is well known that people with mental health problems die earlier. But this is the first time death rates have been analysed down to a local level. Overall, the premature death rate among those with mental health problems was 2.4 times higher than that of the general population.
The review- by the Open Public Services Network, part of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce – said the physical health needs of people with mental health problems were not being addressed.
The findings mirror a recent report by the Nuffield Trust think tank and come as NHS England is preparing to unveil its new strategy for mental health services.Report author Charlotte Alldritt said with one in six people suffering from a mental health problem each year it was vital the NHS improved services.
Paul Farmer, of the mental health charity Mind, said the report should act as a “wake-up call”.”It is shocking that people with severe mental health problems die much younger than the general population, often from preventable conditions which ought be picked up through routine testing and screening,” Mental Health Minister Alistair Burt said the issues highlighted by the report were “really important” and needed addressing.