A review is being carried out after research found people in Sussex with mental health problems are living up to 20 years less than the general population.

Figures from Sussex and East Surrey Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) also revealed those who use mental health services make up around 20 per cent of all A&E attendances and emergency admissions.

The STP found those who use mental health services are around two to four times more likely to die of cancer, circulatory or respiratory disease than the rest of the population.

Sam Allen, CEO of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, is responsible for chairing the mental health review.

She said:

“The fact you end up living up to 20 years less if you are someone using mental health services is truly shocking.

“It shows that health and social care services aren’t meeting the physical health needs of people with mental health problems.”

According to the research, people aged 65 are likely to have around 50-60 per cent of the remaining life expectancy of the population not in contact with mental health services.

The health watchdog said it is prioritising mental health services, ahead of the review, which will look into how they are provided and funded.

Sam added:

“Getting a grip on this is about saving lives.

“It’s also about making sure we use every penny of public money as wisely and effectively as possible.

“By reducing smoking rates among people with mental health problems, for example, we could reduce 1,000 hospital admissions a year, saving £1.8m that could be invested elsewhere.”

The Sussex and East Surrey STP is made up of 24 health and social care organisations, which focus on how patient care can be improved.

The watchdog said its review will look at ways to better meet the needs of the patients, carers, families and local communities.

It will also consider how the voluntary sector, local authorities and the NHS can work better together.

The review will be completed by early Autumn 2017.