Professor Sarah Purdy, Director of the Integration to Avoid Hospital Admissions Health Integration Team (ITHAcA HIT), gives an update on the HIT's activities in 2014-15.
The Integration to Avoid Hospital Admissions HIT (ITHAcA) has continued to focus on ways to reduce the complexity in the urgent care system. To achieve this we have broadened our work to encompass a wider view of urgent care. We now have three priority themes: avoidable hospital admissions (with a focus on chronic obstructive disease (COPD), dementia and childhood asthma), the management of risk and using data to inform commissioning.
We have obtained funding and begun work on an evaluation of the effectiveness of ‘care bundles’ for patients with COPD, a systematic review of managing uncertainty to reduce bed days for older patients and an exploratory study to understand urgent care service use for childhood asthma in Bristol.
We are exploring how we can work more closely with commissioning colleagues and Peter Goyder, the Urgent Care Clinical Lead from Bristol CCG, has joined our directorate to help us achieve this. Helen Baxter, coordinator for ITHAcA, has taken on a role as Researcher in Residence focusing on urgent care for the three local CCGs. From this joint working two research studies have been co-produced with clinical and commissioning colleagues: an investigation of discharge from secondary into primary care for elderly patients and developing a ‘rule’ for managing abnormal test results in out-of-hours primary care. These studies have been supported by funding and resources from Avon Primary Care Research Collaborative and NIHR CLAHRC West.
We plan to continue this productive relationship to develop more research studies in line with the commissioning priorities in urgent care.