Supporting equitable uptake of the COVID-19 vaccination in people with Severe Mental Illness
People with Severe Mental Illness (SMI), who face reduced life expectancy of 15-20 years when compared to the general population, are included in priority group six to access the COVID-19 vaccination but may find it difficult to attend vaccination appointments. Some people with SMI may not know they are eligible so it is vital that we take an inclusive approach to ensure people with bipolar, schizophrenia and similar illnesses access their vaccination. For instance, people with an eating disorder (either a high or low BMI) or people with a diagnosis of personality disorder.
There is a suite of resources available to support equitable uptake of the COVID-19 vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccination videos to support people with mental illness
A series of short videos on COVID-19 vaccination to support and encourage people with severe mental illness (SMI) to get their COVID-19 vaccines have been developed by Public Health England, Equally Well UK and NHS England:
- Getting the COVID-19 vaccine: Personal experience guide for people with severe mental illness, Part 1
- Getting the COVID-19 vaccine: Personal experience guide for people with severe mental illness, Part 2
- COVID-19 vaccination: A guide for GPs and teams to support people with severe mental illness
These videos provide useful information for people with SMI to know what to expect from the vaccination process and how to prepare before their appointments. They also provide information for primary care professionals to better support people with SMI in their areas.
Guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol
Guidance for services and commissioners working with people using drugs and alcohol.
Liberty Protection Safeguards delay
In July 2018, the government published a Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill, which passed into law in May 2019. It will replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards with a scheme known as the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS).
The target date for the implementation of LPS has been delayed by the government. A twelve week public consultation on the draft regulations and Code of Practice for the LPS is due to take place in early 2022. The government will confirm the date of implementation of the LPS following this consultation.
We do not yet have regulations or the Code of Practice that will be required before the Act can come into force, but we will continue to work on getting ready for LPS behind the scenes and update you as new information comes forward.
Please contact the LPS Project Team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the Safeguards.
Coronavirus message from Devon County Council Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Service
The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that:
“Following the lifting of restrictions on 19 July 2021, the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic guidance has now been withdrawn. In spite of this, the care and treatment of people who may lack the relevant mental capacity remains of great importance and must always be guided by important principles of the MCA, which may in some cases include the utilisation of the safeguards provided by the DoLS. This was and is the case, before, during and after the pandemic.“
Please visit the Department of Health and Social Care website for more information on the MCA and DoLS.
The Devon DoLS Service will continue to support care homes, hospitals, individuals and their families, recognising the current coronavirus pandemic presents considerable challenges. We would wish to offer support and guidance, including the ongoing provision of our duty service, which can be accessed via phone 01392 381676 and email email@example.com.
We request that all applications and correspondence are sent to the service electronically at this time.