Partnership project nominated for prestigious award

August 22, 2019

A partnership project which helped patients with mental health needs be cared for closer to home has been nominated for a prestigious award.

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) worked with colleagues from the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (NEECCG) to ensure patients in Colchester and Tendring received responsive care within their homes and local communities where possible.

The project, known as the Whole System Acute Patient Pathway Redesign project, resulted in fewer patients having to travel out of the area to hospital and an improved patient experience.

It has now been shortlisted for a Health Service Journal Award in the category of Acute or Specialist Service Redesign Initiative.

EPUT worked with NEECCG to provide community care and, when necessary, crisis care to help reduce demand on hospital admissions.

As a result out of area placement admissions for patients reduced from 5,136 bed days in 2017/18 to 835 days in 2018/19, an 84% reduction that led to a saving of £2.4m.

The social cost for patients, who no longer had to leave their homes and families to be admitted to hospital beds elsewhere, was also reduced.

Elizabeth Wells, EPUT’s Director of Mental Health (North East & West), said: “The ambition achieved is the successful implementation of an integrated care pathway which has improved whole system flow, enabling individuals with acute mental health presentations to receive responsive care within their home and local communities in Colchester and Tendring.

“The Mental Health Home First Team and Assessment Unit Model based in Colchester have been integral to this pathway. In the first year, over 1,000 patients have been under this pathway and have been discharged with positive outcomes following a mental health crisis.

“Being shortlisted for this HSJ award is a great acknowledgement for the hard work and commitment from all the NHS staff involved.”

Rob Chandler, North East Essex CCG’s Mental Health Transformation Lead, said: “A key priority for the north east Essex system has been to shift the centre of mental health care away from inpatient units into the community, delivering care closer to home.

“By working closely and in co-production with Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust to keep patients in the locality, quality of care and patient experience will be greatly improved. The financial savings from a reduction in out of area bed placements also enable us to reinvest the savings within the system to further improve patient care.”

The winners will be announced on November 6th when the Health Service Journal Awards take place in London.