Medics are working to free up valuable capacity at Northampton General Hospital (NGH) by diverting patients with complex cases who frequently visit A&E to dedicated care services.
Doctors say that a large portion of the thousands who go to A&E are often linked to a number of social, physical and mental health factors, which may require support from more than one organisation.
NGH has teamed up with Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, social care services and drug and alcohol support services to hold bi-monthly meetings to support those who would otherwise attend A&E more than ten times a year.
A&E consultant Mike Pearce said: “We know there are a relatively small number of patients who attend accident and emergency 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 and helped prevent some of these frequent attendances.
“This is better for patient and helped reduced pressure on our very busy emergency department.”
Overall there has been an average 50 percent reduction in attendances by the cohort of patients who were worked with because of their frequent attendance at NGH.
Anne Rackham director of mental health at NHFT added: “People often experience physical pain which can be associated with mental health difficulties.
“By opening up communication with our partners we can assess individual needs and find the right care for them.”