Local And National Policy Use Ensure High-Quality Care for Patients with Bipolar Affective Disorder   

The National Institute of Healthcare and Clinical Excellence (NICE) helps ensure quality care for patients with bipolar affective disorder within mental healthcare settings. The NICE Clinical Guideline introduced some changes in managing bipolar affective disorder in 2014, which altered the long-standing clinical practice linked to bipolar affective disorder. For instance, antidepressants are not recommended to treat bipolar affective disorder according to the 2014 guideline (Morris, et al., 2020). The current guideline on bipolar affective disorder recommends fluoxetine with olanzapine for acute bipolar affective disorder depression (NICE, 2022). The new NICE Clinical Guideline also encourages collaborative clinical practice between the carers and the patients based on recovery goals (NICE, 2022).

NICE was established in 1999 by the UK government to develop national healthcare standards to reduce clinical care variations in different regions of Wales and England, but not Northern Ireland and Scotland, where the government developed health policy (Morris, et al., 2020). Today, NICE sets different types of guidelines ranging from healthcare, social care, public health, and technology appraisal guideline. The NICE policy on bipolar affective disorder covers the recognition, assessment, and treatment of bipolar affective disorder in adults and kids, both bipolar I, bipolar II, rapid cycling, and mixed affective disorders (NICE, 2022). The NICE guideline’s primary objective is to enhance treatment access for bipolar affective disorder and promote quality of life among bipolar affective disorder patients (NICE, 2022).

The community mental health teams (CMHT) within the NHS mental health policy framework have also proven effective in ensuring quality care for bipolar affective disorder patients. Community mental health programs are vital in delivering bipolar affective disorder care for older adults with severe psychological needs as closer to them as possible (NHS, 2022). The NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan and NHS Long Term Plan 2019/20 – 2023/24 provide that NHS establish innovative and integrated to enhance community and primary mental health care, including bipolar affective disorder patient care (NHS, 2022).

The community-based program incorporates psychological therapies, workplace support, enhanced physical health, trauma-informed and personalised care, and support for comorbid substance abuse and self-harm (NHS, 2022). The community-based mental health program is projected to enable at least 370,000 older adults annually nationally to have greater control and choice over their care and live healthily in their communities by 2024 (NHS, 2022). The UK government disbursed £1 billion for 2023/24 to support the new Long Term Plan to enhance access to mental health for older adults with chronic mental health (NHS, 2022), including bipolar affective disorder patients.

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