Collaborative working sees reduction in frequent attendance at Northampton A & E | Latest updates

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Collaborative working sees reduction in frequent attendance at Northampton A & E

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Partnership work by health and social care organisations in Northants has led to a major reduction in the number of attendances at Northampton General Hospital by some of the county’s more vulnerable patients.

Frequently attending patients presenting at A&E with complex needs are often linked to a number of social, physical and mental health factors may require support from more than one organisation and may be unsure which services are able to help.

Northampton General Hospital (NGH), Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT), Social Care services and Drug & Alcohol support services hold bi-monthly meetings to support frequent attendance patients (those who attend more than ten times a year).

Northampton General Hospital A&E consultant Mike Pearce, said: “The work we have undertaken together to support frequent attendance patients has been very valuable.

“We know there are a relatively small number of patients who attend accident and emergency departments very regularly and this is often linked to a number of physical, social, and mental health issues they may have.

“By developing an approach which looks at each patient’s individual needs, and how they can be best supported, we have worked together with our partners and helped prevent some of these frequent attendances. This is better for patients, has meant services have worked together very effectively, and it has helped reduced pressure on our very busy emergency department.”

Overall there has been an average 50% reduction in attendances by the cohort of patients who were worked with because of their frequent attendance at Northampton General Hospital. The care plan process with those patients helps to identify where needs have not been met and provide the right care and support needed.

Anne Rackham, Director of Mental Health at NHFT, added: “People can often experience physical pain, which can be associated with mental health difficulties. By opening up dialogue and communication with our partners we can assess patient individual needs and find the right care for them.”

The collaborative project started in 2016 and seeks to identify patients and look at physical and mental health care, create a formulation of needs, look at triggers for attendance and develop a co-produced care plan for these patients to ensure they receive the right care for them.

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