Did Not Attend (DNA) Outreach Pilot

Annual physical health checks for people with severe mental illness (SMI) can save lives. However, individuals often do not attend their appointments.

Building on our previous work with NHS Dorset’s SMI Physical Health Check project where we explored:

  • what training is currently offered to professionals focussing on SMI and whether there is an opportunity to develop bespoke sessions co-designed in partnership with those with lived experience;
  • the peer support offer that is available and how these could be linked into supporting people to “wait well”;
  • whether there are any VCS groups providing buddies or advocacy to support people who might be reluctant to attend health checks or need additional support to attend their health check;
  • people’s experiences and how they felt about their health check experience, both positive and negative to enable us to inform service development and training of staff.

Our research suggested that there is very limited support available to those with severe mental ill health and their experiences with healthcare professionals often deters them from attending their physical health checks.

We are running a pilot in partnership with NHS Dorset and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) seeking to increase the number of annual physical health checks that are completed and better understand why uptake is low.

The initial phase of the pilot, saw us working collaboratively with Central Bournemouth Primary Care Network (PCN). Through a person-centred approach and supportive conversations we have been able to:

  • Encourage 30% of the people we engaged with to attend their health check.
  • Identify a list of barriers why people have missed their appointments, which informs services on how we can better understand to support them in the community.
  • Engage and identify reasons why people have made an informed and empowered decision to decline their health check.
  • Signpost / refer patients to community support where necessary.

Over the next 12 months we will be continuing this important project by working collaboratively with more PCN’s addressing DNA rates for the annual health check, with the aim to work across all 18 PCNs across Dorset.

If you are GP practice in Dorset and would like to be involved in this important pilot or would like more information, please get in touch with our Health Engagement Officer – Andrew Robertson: Andrew.Robertson@can100.org 

Our work is possible thanks to funding from our partners, NHS Dorset

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