The IMPARTS package has been developed to improve the support available for patients experiencing psychological distress such as anxiety, low mood or depression, and receiving treatment for a physical health condition. IMPARTS does this in a number of different ways outlined below.
Collection of patient reported outcomes
Patients attending King’s Health Partner’s Acute Trusts are asked to answer a series of questions about their health using a tablet-based screening platform before their appointment. The questions include patient-reported data on smoking, depression and anxiety symptoms, along with others tailored to the specific patient group. The results are added to the patient’s electronic health record. The clinician can then use this information to guide the consultation and treatment plan, referring the patient on for appropriate support via pathways established and agreed with relevant services. More information on the screening process is available in the video below.
Development of Care Pathways
Prior to implementing IMPARTS, the clinical team and a member of the IMPARTS undertake a mapping exercise to identify possible care pathways for patients identified as needing onward referral or support. Pathways include mental health support such as psychologically informed care within the team, a team psychologist, a liaison psychiatrist or external pathways such as an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service. Additional referral guidance is offered for smoking cessation and drug or alcohol use.
When the patient completes the questions about their health, the IMPARTS system analyses the results and makes recommendations for further assessment, onward care and referral. For example, if a patient has symptoms of low mood or anxiety, the system will prompt the clinician to have a further discussion with the patient and identify the service(s) the patient may benefit from being referred to.
Education and Training
Training is provided for all staff who use the IMPARTS package. This covers some key principles and skills for addressing common mental health needs. Clinical teams may also request additional training, including bespoke ways to address the specific needs of their patient population.
We run in-house training courses, such as our popular 5-day Mental Health Skills for Non-Mental Health Professionals course which we put on several times per year. We have recently launched a free online course which helps people understand the connection between physical and mental health, and improve their ability to identify symptoms and sources of help.
In addition we run a seminar series, which brings together clinical staff, students, members of the public and academics from across King’s Health Partners and beyond to discuss a diverse range of topics centered around the interplay between mental and physical health.
To extend the range of support available for patients, IMPARTS has a range of self-help resources tailored to living with medical conditions. The self-help materials include information related to the interaction between physical and psychological well being, along with help to manage stress, adjusting to illness, keeping active, and sleep problems. Condition-specific materials are also available, for example for patients living with breathlessness, irritable bowel syndrome and multiple sclerosis.
Research and Clinical Audit
The IMPARTS data is also available for research and clinical service audit purposes. For more information, please see our research page at Kings College London.