Background: Reducing emergency admissions to hospital has been a cornerstone of healthcare policy. Little evidence exists to show that systematic interventions across a population have achieved this aim. The authors report the impact of a complex intervention over a 44-month period in Frome, Somerset, on unplanned admissions to hospital.
Aim: To evaluate a population health complex intervention of an enhanced model of primary care and compassionate communities on population health improvement and reduction of emergency admissions to hospital.
Design and setting: A cohort retrospective study of a complex intervention on all emergency admissions in Frome Medical Practice, Somerset, compared with the remainder of Somerset, from April 2013 to December 2017.
Method: Patients were identified using broad criteria, including anyone giving cause for concern. Patient-centred goal setting and care planning combined with a compassionate community social approach was implemented broadly across the population of Frome.
Results: There was a progressive reduction, by 7.9 cases per quarter (95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.8 to 13.1, P = 0.006), in unplanned hospital admissions across the whole population of Frome during the study period from April 2013 to December 2017, a decrease of 14.0%. At the same time, there was a 28.5% increase in admissions per quarter within Somerset, with a rise in the number of unplanned admissions of 236 per quarter (95% CI = 152 to 320, P<0.001).
Conclusion: The complex intervention in Frome was associated with highly significant reductions in unplanned admissions to hospital, with a decrease in healthcare costs across the whole population of Frome.
Keywords: cohort studies; community development; general practice; patient care planning; primary care.
© British Journal of General Practice 2018.