NICE issues schizophrenia commissioning guide
A commissioning guide to help primary and secondary care teams offer the best treatment and management for adults with schizophrenia has been published by NICE.
Schizophrenia is one of the most common serious mental health disorders, but is still associated with considerable stigma, fear and limited understanding. One in 100 people will experience at least one episode of acute schizophrenia during their lifetime, with men and women equally affected. Typically, the disorder begins between 15-30 years of age. In women, schizophrenia usually occurs later, beginning between 25-30 years of age.
The first few years after onset of schizophrenia can be particularly upsetting and chaotic, and there is a higher risk of suicide. Once an acute episode is over, there are often other problems such as social exclusion, with reduced opportunities to get back to work or study, and problems making new relationships. Therefore, it is important that patients with schizophrenia are diagnosed and offered the best possible care.
This commissioning guide will enable healthcare professionals to do this by signposting and providing key clinical and service-related issues to consider during the commissioning process. The guide identifies specific areas of clinical practice that should be adopted and provides PCTs with a commissioning tool to identify their local service requirements, review current services and highlight future needs.
If successfully delivered, the NICE schizophrenia guidelines will maximise people's recovery, freedom from relapse, quality of life, independence, work prospects and social integration. Commissioning an effective and comprehensive schizophrenia service across all phases of the condition will also help to reduce self-harm and deaths from suicide.
NICE has also issued a commission guide for the diagnosis and management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults as well as updating 28 existing commissioning guides.
13 January 2010
This page was last updated: 14 April 2010