Barriers and solutions to implementing metabolic risk assessment in a secondary mental health service
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Objectives: The aim of this study is to understand the barriers and resulting solutions encountered by mental health service staff during the implementation of a metabolic risk assessment programme. Method: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were held with key programme staff. Thematic analysis was performed on the resulting data. Results: Barriers identified included an existing mindset that care of service users' physical health is not part of Mental Health Service 'core business'; the lack of processes that ensure consistent implementation of risk assessment; and lack of resources in terms of equipment and staff time/manpower. Solutions identified were categorized as: systems and process issues; staff training or education issues; issues requiring attention at an organizational level; and issues relating to service users, their family and communities. Conclusions: A valuable programme that contributes to the improved physical health of service users has been developed and implemented. However, a number of barriers to wider adoption were identified. Solutions to a number of these barriers were identified during implementation.