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Mental health scheme piloted in Norwich to help avoid admissions

New services to help prevent unnecessary admissions to hospital are being piloted by mental health specialists in Norwich.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and the Norfolk and Suffolk-based mental health third sector organisation, Julian Support, have developed the new admission prevention partnership.

Admission prevention services are being used when a patient is highly likely to be admitted to an adult acute bed or, are being discharged from hospital. The services are not clinical but more about social, emotional and practical support.

The interventions, provided by Julian Support, are short-term and usually last up to two weeks to prevent admission or up to six weeks to support patients who have just left hospital.

The new services are put in place alongside clinical services provided by the NHS, they are supplementary, and do not replace the services provided by the Trust.

The need for referral to admission prevention is a clinical decision reached with service users and carers. In Norwich, Julian Support is delivering up to 80 hours of interventions a week.

Director of Operations for Norfolk, Debbie White, said: "This pilot is good news for those of our patients who need some short-term social or pastoral support at home. We very much hope the work we are doing with Julian Support will help keep people at home and avoid the need to be admitted for non-clinical reasons."

The pilot started at the end of June and will run for six months. The types of support that can help prevent admissions include:

  • Helping with cooking, cleaning, shopping, setting up and managing utility services
  • Assisting with housing issues and domestic budgeting
  • Enrolling a service user in community groups
  • Planning a service user’s time with friends and family
  • Using local transport and other facilities, such as libraries or adult education
  • Attending with a service user to their GP, dentist and other health care professional appointment