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Physical Health Monitoring Clinic – Central Northumberland

Information leaflet about the Physical Health Monitoring Clinic in Greencres Centre, Ashington; including services offered, who the clinic is for and how to be referred.

This leaflet may not be reproduced in whole or in part, without the permission of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

  • Introduction

    This leaflet provides you with information that you will find useful whilst attending the Physical Health Monitoring Clinic. If you are not sure about anything in this leaflet please ask a member of staff.

  • What is the Physical Health Monitoring Clinic?

    The Physical Health Monitoring Clinic is based within various community settings across Northumberland. You will be invited to attend your nearest service.

    The services provided at the clinic are as follows:
    • Clozapine Monitoring
    • Clozapine Initiation
    • Phlebotomy
    • Lithium Monitoring
    • Lithium Initiation
    • HDAT Monitoring
    • Depot Injection Administration
    • Physical Health Monitoring
    • ECG

  • Why do I need to attend the Physical Health Monitoring Clinic?

    The services provided by the Physical Health Monitoring Clinic support your overall treatment plans.

  • Arriving at the Physical Health Monitoring Clinic

    When you arrive in the Physical Health Monitoring Clinic, you will meet one of our Mental Health Nurses, who work within the department. They will explain what will happen during the time you may be in receipt of our services.

    • Please note that referral to any of our clinics will need to be made through your care co-ordinator or your Consultant Psychiatrist.
    • The clinic staff liaise closely with your Care Co-ordinator, your Consultant Psychiatrist, your GP and any others that you may have contact with in the community.
    • The Physical Health Monitoring Clinic provides services for out-patients.
    • Staff at the Physical Health Monitoring Clinic will be happy to provide information to you and/or your carer about any treatment or therapy that may be recommended for you.

  • How long will I be there?

    People usually attend appointments in the Physical Health Monitoring Clinic for approximately 15-45 minutes depending on which service you are receiving.

  • What sort of things happen at the Physical Health Monitoring Clinic?

    We offer these services on five days each week. You will be informed by letter of when you are able to attend.

  • Services provided are:

    Clozapine Monitoring and Initiation
    Clozapine (Clozaril) is an anti-psychotic drug that requires special monitoring, as it has a relatively high risk of causing a serious disorder of the white blood cells (agranulocytosis). The Physical Health Monitoring Clinic has direct links to the Clozaril Patient Monitoring Service (CPMS) and St. George’s Hospital pharmacy to ensure and maintain a safe service.

    When you are first prescribed Clozapine you need to be monitored closely for a period of 2 weeks whilst the dose of medication is being gradually increased. This is a specific protocol determined by Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. This needs to be done safely either in a hospital setting or within a Physical Health Monitoring Clinic.

    You can only take Clozapine if your blood count is monitored on a regular basis. Most service users taking Clozapine in Northumberland attend one of the Physical Health Monitoring Clinics for:
    • blood sampling
    • side effect monitoring
    • physical health monitoring
    • wellbeing advice, education and information.

    Phlebotomy
    The taking of blood samples as requested by your Consultant Psychiatrist or Care Co-ordinator.

    Lithium Monitoring and Initiation
    Lithium is used to help treat the symptoms of bipolar affective disorder, it can help make “highs and lows” less extreme or occur less often. It can take some time for Lithium to have its full effect. It may be used on its own or with other medicines. When you first start taking Lithium, there are various tests which need to be done before you commence treatment. There are also ongoing tests/bloods which need to be done 3 monthly. You will also be monitored closely for side effects. Physical health monitoring, wellbeing advice, education and other information will be completed during consultation.

    HDAT Monitoring (High Dose Antipsychotic Monitoring)
    Sometimes if you are prescribed various different medications you will need to have a specific set of tests/blood samples every 3 months. You will also need to be closely monitored for side effects. Physical health monitoring, wellbeing advice, education and other information will be completed during consultation.

    Depot Clinic
    Depot injections are administered by a Qualified Mental Health Nurse within the Physical Health Monitoring Clinic located in your local community. You will also need to be closely monitored for side effects. Physical health monitoring, wellbeing advice, education and other information will be completed during consultation.

    Physical Health Monitoring
    When you have a mental health issue and you are prescribed various different medications you will need various tests/bloods at least once a year. You also need to have your blood pressure, height, weight and BMI recorded during this appointment. You will also need to be closely monitored for side effects. Wellbeing advice, education and other information will be completed during consultation.

    ECG (Electrocardiograph)
    A monitoring test on your heart that involves the placement of some stickers and leads on your chest area, a reading is taken of the electrical activity in your heart. Depending on the medication you take this will generally need to be performed at least once a year.

    Interpreters
    Staff can arrange an interpreter if you need one.

  • Travel information

    You need to make your own way to the Physical Health Monitoring Clinic for your appointment. Your Care Co-ordinator will be able to help you to make arrangements if necessary or will be able to help/advise you regarding travel arrangements. Please contact us should you experience any difficulties and we will be happy to try to help resolve them.

  • What if I have a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint about the service?

    If you want to make a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint you can:
    • talk to the people directly involved in your care
    • ask a member of staff for a feedback form, or complete a form on the Trust website www.cntw.nhs.uk (click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab)
    • telephone the Complaints Department 0191 245 6672
    • email complaints@cntw.nhs.uk Please note that information sent to the Trust via email is sent at your own risk
    • We are always looking at ways to improve services. Your feedback allows us to monitor the quality of our services and act upon issues that you bring to our attention.
    You can provide feedback in the following ways:
    - the quickest way for you to do this is to complete our short online survey at
    www.cntw.nhs.uk/poy
    - complete a Points of You survey, available from staff.

  • Useful contacts

    • Pharmacy (Clozapine enquiries) Tel: 0191 245 6606

    • National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
    (NICE) Tel: 0300 323 0140 Website: www.nice.org.uk

    • Pharmacy Medicines Information Line Tel: 0191 245 6604
    (Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust)

  • References

    A full list of references is available on request from the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288

  • Contact details

    Greenacres Centre
    Green Lane
    Ashington
    Northumberland
    NE63 8BL
    Telephone: 01670 844 600

  • Information about content, other formats and version control

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this leaflet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, easy read, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2020 Copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/711/0920 September 2020 V4
    www.cntw.nhs.uk Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2023