HAGA’s Hospital Link Worker proactively works with those who have been admitted to hospital several times for alcohol related reasons
Within only six months, the repeat attenders we worked with had a reduction in A&E visits, ambulance call-outs and hospital admissions, resulting in an estimated saving of £94,760.
The Hospital Link Worker (HLW) post was commissioned by Haringey Public Health in July 2011
The innovative idea was to link separate services together, providing continuity for the individual and cost-efficiency for all service providers involved. The HLW monitors A&E attendances, including ambulance call-outs, over a twelve month window.
When the same person has three or more alcohol specific attendances within this time-frame, they are flagged as an alcohol specific repeat attender (AsRA). The HLW contacts them by phone, through appointments and interventions, as well as coordinating and brokering other services to meet their wider needs. The individual receives twelve months of continuous key working and support to increase the likelihood of a permanent improvement in alcohol and other health issues.
Huge Cost Savings
Between January and June 2014, HAGA’s Hospital Link Worker made significant improvements to the lives of those who had been identified as repeat attenders. Those under the care of our HLW had a huge reduction in the need for hospital treatment.
Specifically, within the group, there were:
88% fewer A&E attendances, at a cost saving of £26,250
87% fewer ambulance call-outs, at a cost saving of £33,750
67% reduction in hospital admissions, at a cost saving of £34,760
In total, the savings for this six month period amounted to: £94,760
Matthew was a repeat attender of Whittington Hospital and the North Middlesex University Hospital (NMUH)
Within a twelve month period he had attended A&E seven times, had six ambulance call-outs, and had been admitted twice due to alcohol. Naturally, he came to our attention. We visited Matthew in his home for an initial assessment, discussing his issues and ideal outcomes. Together we developed a care plan which incorporated his goals, his existing support structure and his existing medical conditions, including mental health issues.
Twelve months after Matthew’s involvement with our Hospital Link Worker he is alcohol free and working as a web-developer. The reduction in his hospital visits have amounted to a cost saving of £3,815.
Matthew was eligible for detox and was keen to try, so after some preliminary sessions, he went through a community detox with one of our nurses. After his detox, he entered HAGA’s abstinence based day programme and 590 project where he found the group support particularly beneficial and started retraining for a new career.