How a New Mental Health Service Line Saved an NHS Trust £4.7 Million

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) has complex communications requirements. The Trust provides NHS community services for physical and mental health, as well as specialist services for disability and substance misuse. For positive health outcomes, it is important that patients can connect to the right employee and get help quickly.

CPFT recognized that inefficient systems were harming patient outcomes and costing money through unnecessary Emergency admissions. To help improve their communication systems, they sought the help of one of our partners, Conversant Technology.

After an extensive phase of testing, all members of staff were onboarded onto Voice for Teams. With the Direct Routing service installed, members of the First Response Team and Admin Hubs could now operate remotely and flexibly in a safe environment.

To enable more efficient communication and statistics, including directing calls to the best team member, as well as real-time reporting and recording of all calls, CPFT also installed Luware Nimbus.

Saving More Than Just Costs

By centralizing all communications in Teams, significant results were achieved. The effect on Emergency admissions was profound. Eight months post-implementation, nearly 10,000 people called:

  • 97% of calls to the 111 option 2 number did not need A&E
  • 26% fewer people needed to be taken to A&E by ambulance
  • 25% fewer people needed A&E for mental health problems
  • 19% reduction in A&E mental health admissions

There has been a 16% reduction in the number of overdoses and estimates show the scheme could have saved the local health and care system up to £4.7m.

The Right Service at the Right Time

Dr. Emma Tiffin, Mental Health Clinical Lead at the Cambridge and Peterborough Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, said: “The person experiencing a mental health crisis can now be directed to the right team for assessment, onward treatment, or advice. Ensuring that people are accessing the right service at the right time is key to reducing costs, duplication, and confusion. Above all that, it means that patients will have a better experience of care and better outcomes the first time.”

Timely Help

Caroline Meiser-Stedman, Consultant Psychiatrist, said: “Recently we had a call from a gentleman, who was worried about his wife. After speaking to 111 and selecting option 2, he could speak to staff who calmed the situation down, before they arranged an urgent face-to-face assessment.

A couple of hours later, a psychiatrist and a crisis home treatment team member visited them at home. After they talked to her, she agreed to come to the ward. If she had gone directly to the emergency department, she would have probably become unsettled and left or it would have led to her being restrained under the Mental Health Act. “This way we were able to get her the right help quickly.”

This reference case study was originally published by Conversant and edited for clarity.

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