Insights from Clozapine Clinic shared in world first study

CPFT’s innovative service for people with schizophrenia is highlighted in a new book recently published, exploring service users’ lived experiences and health challenges.

Clozapine Clinic team

Schizophrenia is a complex mental health condition, and some people can experience psychosis symptoms that are very difficult to treat. Clozapine is a gold standard medication used in these cases, which requires careful monitoring of physical health and any side effects.

Anthropologist Dr Julia Brown spent two years working with the Clozapine Clinic teams in Cambridge and Huntingdon on the world’s first study to understand how service users on this treatment pathway manage their health and wellbeing, compared with clinics in Australia.

Julia’s detailed ethnography The Clozapine Clinic: Health Agency in High-Risk Conditions includes forewords by a CPFT service user and Clozapine Clinic lead consultant psychiatrist Dr Emilio Fernandez-Egea, with ringing endorsements from international mental health experts, including CPFT’s Research and Development Director Professor Ed Bullmore.

Dr Emilio Fernandez-Egea said: “This research highlights how our model of a small mental health team focused on clozapine management has major benefits for engagement, continuity of care and helps people feel in control of their own health. The book contains sharp reflections, vignettes and dialogues at the clinic, giving a voice to our service users and the health professionals involved in their care. Above all, it is a tribute to our hard working, brilliant teams in Cambridge, Huntingdon and Peterborough and their innovative work, as well as our community and acute colleagues looking after people with schizophrenia.”

The Clozapine Clinic is recommended as an essential read for health professionals caring for people with schizophrenia and psychosis, and mental health researchers and policymakers.

CPFT’s Medical Director Dr Julie Hankin said: “We are so proud of our Clozapine Clinic teams for their pioneering work and contributions to this extensive research, which shines a light on a less well-known service area and highly complex condition. This book will be a useful resource for mental health staff and trainees, sharing rich insights on service user’s experiences of treatment-resistant schizophrenia and how health services can best care for them.”

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