BMJ Award for team who are incorporating mental health service into dermatology clinic

An innovative approach to providing mental health care for patients with skin disease has won a prestigious BMJ Award.

Staff from St John’s Institute of Dermatology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust were named Dermatology Team of the Year at the BMJ Awards 2016 on Thursday 5 May for introducing a new screening system that improves mental health support for patients.

The team at St John’s Institute of Dermatology at Guy’s introduced psychological screening into their clinics using the IMPARTS (Integrating Mental and Physical Healthcare: Research Training and Service) system, a project of King's Health Partners, including colleagues from the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

Skin disease can be highly stigmatising, and surveys suggest that rates of mood and anxiety disorders are high in this population, yet the majority of patients are not screened for psychological distress. With IMPARTS, patients are asked to complete a questionnaire assessing their psychological state while they are waiting for their appointment.

This involves asking patients to complete a screening questionnaire while waiting for their dermatology appointment. The questionnaire is designed to reveal any psychological issues so that appropriate support and treatment can be arranged.  

Professor Catherine Smith, consultant dermatologist, says: “The successful delivery of patient-centred care in the service is due to the commitment, skills, and fantastic ‘can do’ attitude of our multi-disciplinary team. We’re all thrilled to have this recognised through winning a BMJ Award.”

Professor Matthew Hotopf, Director of the NIHR Maudsley BRC, and helped to develop IMPARTS, adds: “We’re delighted that the innovative work of the team at St John’s Institute of Dermatology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust have been recognised at the prestigious BMJ Awards.  Their work to integrate mental and physical care in people with severe skin disorders – a marginalised and under-served population – shows that introducing integrated psychological care into physical health services like dermatology can be done very effectively, in a reasonably short space of time. 

“We look forward to continuing our work and seeing the long-term impacts of this project, both with the Guy’s dermatology team, and the wide range of other services across King’s Health Partners using the IMPARTS model to improve mind and body care for patients.”

The award judges said that they found the project "inspirational", commenting that: "This team are leading the way, and have created a path and model that others could follow."

Tags: Staff News -

By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 6 May 2016, 11:42 AM

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