Practice cuts A&E attendance and improves patient health through clinical health coaching

A GP practice in Leicester has cut A&E and out-of-hours attendances and significantly reduced the number of home visits it undertakes after implementing a clinical health coaching programme for patients with long-term conditions.

Clinical health coaching enables empowerment, knowledge and increased health literacy in patients to support the NHS manage the burden of long-term conditions.

Parker Drive Practice & Manor Medical Centre commissioned the clinical health coaching service from company Totally Health for patients registered at its two-site practice. The service recruited 68 patients aged 61-70 with conditions including COPD, diabetes and heart failure. 

Totally Health

Totally Health provides an innovative model of medically driven, and personalised Clinical Health Coaching to help support patients with long term health conditions, improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

This article was funded by Totally Health for GP Connect

The coaching focused on ensuring that patients were better educated about their condition and had a greater insight into the support that was available, with the aim of helping them to become less dependent on NHS services. Coaching was carried out over the telephone, which allowed for flexibility with appointments and meant patients did not have to travel.

An evaluation of the scheme found that amongst participants there had been a:

  • 67% reduction in unplanned admissions
  • 47% reduction in secondary care out-patient appointments
  • 39% reduction in contact with all health professionals in local services
  • 30% reduction in GP/practice nurse appointments
  • 22% reduction in community healthcare appointments.

Improved outcomes

The initiative also had a positive impact on the health of the patients involved.

Some 95% of patients with diabetes showed an improvement in their latest HbA1c results following the scheme. In addition, there was a 23% increase in podiatry and retinal screening among the patients with diabetes.

The evaluation also found there had been a 95% increase in the number of medication rescue packs prescribed to patients with COPD.

Across all the patients enrolled in the scheme there was a 47% increase in the number of patients with a documented long-term condition review and a 44% increase in the number of patients who received a flu vaccination.

Dr Durairaj Jawahar, lead GP at Manor Medical Practice said: ‘The evaluation report clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of clinical health coaching. It enables patients with long-term conditions to be a major partner in managing their condition very effectively and helps the NHS to achieve valuable healthcare outcomes.’

Increased patient satisfaction

Dawn Denison, clinical programme analyst at Totally Health, said that the scheme had increased patient satisfaction, confidence, motivation and compliance.

‘We’re especially pleased to see the improvement in HbA1C and increase in the amount of rescue pack prescriptions,' she added. 'This highlights a much greater understanding and willingness from patients to commit to and progress with their self-management.’

Emma-Jane Roberts, chief operating officer at Totally Health, said the company’s clinical health coaching services aimed to help individuals make positive changes in their lives.

‘Patients with long term health conditions who struggle to manage their condition can often find it difficult to navigate the healthcare system. We provide tailored one-to-one clinical health coaching to enable patients to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to become active participants in their own health and healthcare, reducing their reliance on both primary and secondary healthcare services,’ she explained.

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