Charity Parkinson’s UK wanted to understand how people with Parkinson’s disease were using hospital services so that they could provide informed support to local teams managing the condition better.
It was recognised that many patients were admitted to hospital with complex issues that had not been managed effectively, meaning that patients reached a crisis point and might end up being admitted to hospital.
Many of these admissions may have been avoided if more information was available to specialist healthcare professionals locally so that they could anticipate care needs earlier.
Translating data into local action
In South Tees the Parkinson’s team has been using data to help make the case for on-going service investment and development. The team realised that they were falling to meet the needs of patients with complications such as motor fluctuations, dementia and psychosis and realised that 15-minute review appointments, every six months, was no way to deal with complex issues.
With the help of a Health Foundation ‘Innovating for Improvement’ grant, they set up a rapid-access, community-based unit, staffed by a mix of medical, nursing, therapist and mental health services professionals. The plan was to fast track struggling patients to the ‘Parkinson’s Advanced Symptoms Unit’ (PASU), following them up at home as required, to see if they could resolve crisis issues that might otherwise result in hospital admission.
A range of quality metrics, coupled with patient and carer feedback was chosen to demonstrate improvements in quality of life, engagement in self-management and caregivers’ strain. Financial metrics were also developed with local CCGs to ensure that measures were meaningful to those with the power to make a change, including:
- number of emergency admissions to acute medical care or acute psychiatric care
- length of stay
- number of admissions to nursing care
- prescribing costs
For further information on the outcome, download the case study.