New Hull mental health service in line for top national award

Hull Royal Infirmary Accident and Emergency department.

A new mental health service based in Hull Royal’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) is celebrating after being nominated for a prestigious national healthcare award.

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust’s Frequent Attenders Service is being recognised for a Specialist Service Award in the 2019 HSJ Value Awards.

The new innovative service has been a huge success following its launch to create improved patterns of care as part of the national Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN).

The Frequent Attenders Service works with primary care and community teams to help prevent unnecessary A&E attendances by frequent attenders and people with medically unexplained symptoms.

Service Manger Karolina Kur said: “We are delighted to have been nominated for such a high profile award, it’s amazing news.

“Our service is still within its first year of operation and we are pleased with the impact our intervention is having within the busy A&E department.”

The team primarily work with people who have long term conditions, substance misuse problems, complex social needs and a combination of multiple deteriorating health problems which often result in intensive health seeking behaviours which have a huge impact on the A&E department.

Karolina explains: “The majority of the patients we work with who repeatedly attend A&E present with complex physical and psycho-social needs. We are proud to provide a bespoke service where we work with patients to address any underlying, unmet psychological needs.

“We formulate a care plan using their narratives and deliver a consistent management approach across the board, including mental health services, primary care, the police as well as third sector providers. This collaborative approach vastly improves efficiency and the quality of care keeping the patient at the heart of it all.”

Results speak for themselves with the team focusing on 45 frequent attenders who attended A&E an almighty 1,013 times in 2017-18.

Through the development of care plans and collaborative partner working, the team reduced attendances in 2018-19 by 30%, smashing their initial target of 20%.

Karolina said: “Our aims are to make this into a self-sustaining service with an ambition to branch out to primary care and build connections with other care providers.

“Our vision is to support other services in development with similar projects within their area of expertise.

“We are honoured to be nominated for the HSJ Value Award and winning would give us more confidence and even more motivation to aim higher and think bigger.”

In April, the team will travel to London to present their entry to a judging panel and explain the reasons why they should scoop the prize.

Award winners will be announced at a ceremony in Manchester on Thursday 23 May.

[Amy Smith – Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust]