Symphony vanguard making headlines

In case you missed it, the Financial Times published an article in February 2016 entitled “South Somerset deploys ‘health coaches’ to take pressure off NHS”. Here’s an extract:

“As the NHS struggles to do more with less, in pursuit of £22bn in annual efficiency savings, ministers and health leaders alike believe Yeovil may have hit on an approach that can stem this remorseless need for hospital beds by transcending traditionally rigid divides between different parts of the system.

Here, distinctions between primary, secondary and community care are being blurred. Available funding — for social care as well as the NHS — is now viewed as a single resource, to be deployed to improve the overall health of the local population.

Underpinning the approach is a careful “segmenting” of patients to discover which are making maximum demands on the system. Not just in the UK, but internationally, the approach is seen as key to reducing the demand for expensive hospital treatment.

In South Somerset, it was discovered that just 4 per cent of local people were between them consuming up to 50 per cent of the health and social care budget.

Early results among a sample group of 100 patients are striking. Emergency admissions have fallen by 42 per cent, accident and emergency department visits by 4 per cent and outpatient appointments by 15 per cent, year on year, since the establishment of a “hub”, bringing together doctors, nurses and care workers to span the historically iron divide between GP surgery, community and hospital services.”

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