The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued an updated quality standard focusing on assessment, management and care for individuals aged ≥14 years having coexisting severe mental illness and substance misuse.
The key goals of the quality standard are improvements in the following areas:
- Rates of substance abuse
- Morbidity and mortality rates
- Quality of life
- Satisfaction of care received
The quality standard covers the following four recommendations:
- Individuals with suspected or confirmed severe mental illness should be inquired about their drug and alcohol use.
- Individuals should not be excluded from mental health services due to coexisting substance misuse or from substance misuse services due to coexisting severe mental illness.
- Individuals with coexisting severe mental illness and substance misuse should be assigned a care coordinator working in mental health services if they need treatment from secondary care mental health services.
- If any individual with coexisting severe mental illness and substance misuse misses an appointment, a follow-up should be conducted.
Health professionals should also consider the quality standard on Transition between inpatient mental health settings and community or care home settings, Transition from children's to adults' services, Bipolar disorder, psychosis and schizophrenia in children and young people, Bipolar disorder in adults, Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults, Drug use disorders in adults and Alcohol-use disorders: diagnosis and management when providing services for coexisting severe mental illness and substance misuse.