Updated: Wednesday, 23rd April 2014 @ 6:21pm

NHS Manchester shake-up as report reveals schizophrenics are out of work and die '20 years too young'

NHS Manchester shake-up as report reveals schizophrenics are out of work and die '20 years too young'

By Danielle Wainwright

A ground-breaking project aims to improve services for people living with schizophrenia and psychosis was launched on Wednesday by Manchester NHS after a report found serious failings for those suffering from the disorders.

Manchester Mental Health and Social Care NHS Trust has teamed up with national charity Rethink Mental Illness to focus on current issues such as improving mental health hospital care, tackling physical health problems and helping people with mental illness get into employment.

A report from charity’s Schizophrenia Commission revealed the failings which the project hopes to improve for people in Manchester.

Jane Hughes, Director of Communications and Campaigns at Rethink Mental Illness, said: “Last year the Schizophrenia Commission showed that care and treatment for patients is nowhere near good enough.

“It highlighted that people with schizophrenia are dying 15-20 years earlier than the general population and that only 7% are able to get a job. Too many people are falling through the gaps in the system and ending up in prison or homeless.

“But by developing better services, we can transform people’s lives. We’ve launched the project with Manchester Mental Health and Social Care NHS Trust to help us find out what services work best for people with schizophrenia and psychosis, and to put them in place in the NHS.

“It could make a massive difference to people in Manchester who are affected by mental illness.”

Dr Richard Drake, who is Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust and is leading on implementing the recommendations, said: “This is an exciting project for the Trust to be part of. We aim to cooperate with other services across the country who want to make similar improvements.

“We can then assess how well that works to help other organisations learn from our common experience. Rethink Mental Illness are an a innovative charity and we look forward to seeing what we can do together for people with schizophrenia in Manchester.”

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