Birmingham Integrated Care Partnership shares its Early Intervention programme

NHS Birmingham Integrated Care Partnership has shared a case study of its new Early Intervention programme, which has been published on the NHS England website.

The approach has helped to prevent more than 10,000 people being unnecessarily admitted to hospital in Birmingham during the last 12 months. It involved 1,000 members of staff from across healthcare settings in the region to explore improvements that would be made, following a CQC investigation in 2017.

The approach consists of five components:

  • OPAL: A geriatrician lead multi-disciplinary team that ensures individuals presenting at the front door of the acute hospital get the most appropriate onward care
  • Hubs: A multi-disciplinary team that works at the point of discharge from acute hospitals to ensure timely discharge on the appropriate discharge pathway
  • EI Beds: intermediate care provision to support people to recover as much independence following a crisis as possible, ideally returning home
  • EI Community Team (EICT): intermediate care offer that supports people to recover in their own homes and minimise the ongoing level of need support they require
  • Mental Health Wards: mental health provision to care for people experiencing an acute mental health episode

Chris Holt, Chief Operating Officer, Birmingham’s Early Intervention Lead, commented: “Our Early Intervention approach is very different to what has been provided for the 1.3m+ people of Birmingham before and is the first of its kind for the city.

“Our EI goals are to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and premature admissions to long-term residential care, reduce delays in discharge from hospital and help people to remain as independent as possible in their own home.”

Balwinder Kaur, Assistant Director, Acute, Community and Social Work Operations for Adult Social Care in Birmingham City Council, added: “By working together the team can help to meet the needs of the person standing before us – whether that’s for depression, loneliness, a physical or mental health condition or a practical problem with housing, living or even losing weight.

“It’s about having a huge bank of skills and knowledge which span the health, social care and voluntary sector and knowing where a person can get the right help at the right time to support them at home. So far, it’s been a real success and patients have been delighted to realise they aren’t going to have a long stay, someone is trying to help them get home as soon as it’s appropriate.”

The approach has helped to reduce length of stay in hospital, saving 90,000 bed days a year and has ensured that 45 per cent of people are now more likely to go straight home when discharged from hospital instead of being admitted into long-term care.

The partnership said: “The system is now simpler. Bringing together colleagues from across health and social care from all the organisations to create single multi professional teams means that there is no wrong door for anybody who needs help – the aim being that people only have to tell their story once.”

Read the full case study here.