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News and Updates from todays Medically Unexplained Symptoms/Somatic Symptom Disorder National Summit 2018

Improving management and treatment of ‘medically unexplained symptoms’: A partnership approach
Dr Simon Heyland
, Consultant Psychiatrist in Medical Psychotherapy, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust

Care for the Carers – whole team consultation for GP and Primary Care Teams - “Balint-plus for the 21st century
Tim Kent,
Service Lead Primary Care, Consultant Psychotherapist and Social Worker, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
Tim is the Primary Care Service Lead and Consultant Psychotherapist and Social Worker at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.  

An enhanced care approach to Medically Unexplained Symptoms at A&E
Dr Mark Griffiths
, Consultant Lead Clinical Psychologist, Department of Clinical Health Psychology, Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Pre event abstract
An increasing volume of NHS policy, clinical evidence and guidance emphasises the strong and integral overlap and dynamic relationships between mental and physical health status. 
Mental health factors now being increasingly acknowledged and understood as commonly affecting physical health symptomology; with an equally pertinent inverse relationship existing, particularly relevant when people are faced with living with chronic physical conditions or illness.  These dynamic relationships driving a huge volume of healthcare need, frequently mismanaged by traditional healthcare pathways. Usual care pathways often failing to identify the relevance of psychological or psychosocial factors on medical status, thereby perpetuating unhelpful patient journeys and iatrogenic factor influence. 
This presentation describes our model and experience at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool, following the development of our A&E Medical Psychology Service; which has sought to support improved integrated A&E care.
The aim of this service model being to reduce the number of recurrent A&E attendances of patients presenting with (persistent) medical complaints, by supporting an enhanced assessment and treatment pathway that aims to better accommodate the impact of mental health interactions on health status.
Operational specifics and outcomes so far are discussed; with positive outcome trends being indicated, including improved patient flow, culture shift and significant healthcare cost-avoidance achievement.

Why services for complex needs and MUS should be a priority for commissioners - awareness, understanding and policy implications
Andy Bell
, Deputy Chief Executive, Centre for Mental Health
Andy Bell is deputy chief executive at Centre for Mental Health, an independent charity that drives change in policy and practice.

Pre event abstract
This session will explore the economic case for improved support for people with unexplained medical symptoms and the opportunities to commission services.

Medically Unexplained Symptom: Towards Recovery Goals
Dr Mustafa Alachkar,
Consultant Pschiatrist, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust
Pre event abstract
Medically Unexplained Symptoms: a Relational Perspective on Recovery
Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) constitute about 20% of all new GP visits and up to 50% of secondary care outpatients. 
There is increasing evidence highlighting the relevance of attachment and early life experiences, including childhood adversity and abuse, to the formation and the persistence of MUS. There is also evidence that professional responses may perpetuate an unhelpful help-seeking behaviour and contribute to the maintenance of symptoms. 
A relational approach is presented to working with patients with MUS which places the therapeutic relationship in the centre of the clinical work so that the relationship provides a secure base that facilitates further exploration and managing or coping with symptoms.  

Full power point presentation

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11 July 2018

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