Group ac­tiv­i­ties could cut hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions

Western Daily Press - - News - ELLA PICKOVER news@west­erndai­ly­

GP surg­eries may be able to re­duce their pa­tients’ risk of emer­gency hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sion through spe­cialised sup­port and pre­scrib­ing them ac­tiv­i­ties such as book clubs, walk­ing groups or cof­fee morn­ings, a new study sug­gests.

Pa­tients at a GP surgery in Som­er­set had a 14 per cent re­duc­tion in emer­gency hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions af­ter tar­geted sup­port, which in­cluded some so­cial pre­scrib­ing of such ac­tiv­i­ties as well as ad­di­tional care plan­ning for those most at risk.

While the prac­tice in Frome saw the sig­nif­i­cant dip in emer­gency ad­mis­sions, the rest of the county saw un­planned hos­pi­tal spells in­crease by 28.5 per cent.

The new study, pub­lished in the British Jour­nal of Gen­eral Prac­tice, ex­am­ined the emer­gency hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sion rates of more than 28,000 peo­ple reg­is­tered at Frome Med­i­cal Prac­tice com­pared with the rest of Som­er­set.

The GP surgery had im­ple­mented a “com­plex in­ter­ven­tion” plan which in­volved tar­geted iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of peo­ple at risk of un­planned hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sion and “com­pas­sion­ate” com­mu­nity care.

Those who needed sup­port were of­fered one-to-one assess­ments to work out a per­son­alised care plan and were put in touch with a range of com­mu­nity ser­vices to im­prove their so­cial con­tacts, fit­ness and man­age­ment of chronic dis­ease, as well as pro­vid­ing ad­vice on hous­ing, bene- fits, wel­fare and ed­u­ca­tion.

They also re­ceived so­cial pre­scrib­ing as nec­es­sary – de­scribed by au­thors as a way to con­nect, or re­con­nect, pa­tients with their com­mu­ni­ties through ac­tiv­i­ties such as book clubs, walk­ing clubs, cof­fee morn­ings, gym classes, be­friend­ing groups, and oth­ers.

“The in­ter­ven­tion in­volved rigor- ous iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of all those in need, not lim­ited by age or di­ag­no­sis, fol­lowed by care plan­ning and re­fer­ral to the com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment ser­vice for goal set­ting and so­cial net­work en­hance­ment,” the au­thors from the Univer­sity of Brad­ford and the GP surgery wrote.

The re­searchers found a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in emer­gency hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions among those reg­is­tered at the prac­tice.

They said this not only yielded per­sonal ben­e­fits for pa­tients but also saved the NHS a sig­nif­i­cant amount of money. Costs of un­planned ad­mis­sions for 2013/14 in Frome were £5,755,487. For 2016/17, the costs were £4,560,421 – a re­duc­tion of more than 20 per cent.

“The com­plex in­ter­ven­tion in Frome was as­so­ci­ated with highly sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tions in un­planned ad­mis­sions to hos­pi­tal, with a de­crease in health­care costs across the whole pop­u­la­tion of Frome,” the pa­per states. “So­cial con­nect­ed­ness has long been known to be a pri­mary de­ter­mi­nant of health and longevity. The au­thors have found a way to bring this into rou­tine clin­i­cal prac­tice in a sys­tem­atic way.”


Per­cent­age re­duc­tion in emer­gency hos­pi­tal ad­miss­sions

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