New figures released by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust show that its telephonic health services in Barnsley are making big improvements to patients’ quality of life. They have also contributed to saving the NHS money through less people attending accident and emergency and being admitted to hospital.
There are three strands to the services – care navigation, health coaching and tele-health vital sign monitoring – all of which are funded by the Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group. Care navigation involves telephonic sign-posting, giving information and advice to patients previously diagnosed with a long term condition. Those people who identify a health-related goal to work towards use the health coaching service which encourages positive lifestyle behaviour change. Tele-health vital sign monitoring uses equipment in the home to monitor vital signs and warn healthcare professionals if they need to take action.
Figures from 1st December 2013 to 1st December 2015 showed a 19% drop in unplanned hospital admissions by those patients that accessed the service (32% drop of the patients that accessed tele-health vital sign monitoring). This equates to a saving of around half a million pounds per annum. During the same period there was a 20% drop in patients attending hospital accident and emergency by those patients that accessed the service (34% within the patients that accessed tele-health vital sign monitoring) equating to a saving of approximately £32,000 per annum.
Paul Hughes, service lead – care navigation / tele-health, said: “Our services help people with an on-going illness or long term condition to take control of their health, maximising their potential for independent living. People are supported by dedicated nursing staff who provide information and advice to encourage healthier behaviours and lifestyles.”
Patients with a long term condition that require additional telephonic support can self-refer by contacting the service Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. via the freephone number 0800 612 1976.
The service has recently produced a patient film that is being offered to GP surgeries for this to be shown in waiting rooms.