Two Health Integration Teams (HITs) are responsible for £340,000 annual savings in the city’s two acute trusts, through changes to services and care pathways.
Since 2013, the Bristol Bones and Joints HIT has saved North Bristol NHS Trust £170,000 every year by increasing the proportion of older patients receiving cemented hip replacements from 40 per cent to 92 per cent. Analysis of the national joint registry by the University of Bristol showed that cemented hip replacements have lower failure rates than uncemented in the first ten years after surgery, and are likely to last older patients the rest of their lives.
Coincidentally, this is exactly the figure that extending the Liaison Psychiatry Service at the Bristol Royal Infirmary has saved University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. The changes to the service were driven through by the Improving Care in Self-Harm HIT (STITCH), informed by data from their self-harm surveillance register. This figure was identified in a recent economic evaluation by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West (NIHR CLAHRC West).
David Relph, Director of Bristol Health Partners, said:
“This heartening news demonstrates that the Health Integration Team model can work extremely effectively. At a time of increasing financial pressure on the NHS, grassroots changes like this, driven by evidence, are essential for the continued development of services to deliver what’s needed in the most cost-effective way possible.
"I would like to pay tribute to the leaders of both Bristol Bones and Joints and STITCH, who have made these transformations possible. They have been very persistent and succeeded in driving through changes based on solid evidence, delivering both savings and improved patient care. This combination of evidence, change, better care and savings represents the best of what is possible when we bring people together to work on problems. This is an excellent and very positive example of the work happening across our local health system."