Why collaborative working provides better outcomes for patients
Priory Healthcare has worked in partnership with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) for over 15 years. During this time, we have developed a strong, collaborative working relationship, allowing us to provide locally focused acute and psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) services to more people.
The partnership launched with a small contract for acute services at Priory Hospital Nottingham, in response to NHFT’s rising demand for beds. The partnership has since grown to include additional support at Priory Hospital Nottingham, as well as support for NHFT’s patients at Priory Calverton Hill and Priory Hospital East Midlands.
The demand for mental health services has increased in recent years, leading to a growth in out of area placements. Our partnership has been essential in repatriating patients closer to home, in line with the NHS’ Five Year Forward View and Long Term Plan. NHFT were able to repatriate over 80% of their existing out of area placements after the commencement of the partnership with Calverton Hill.
The key to true collaborative working is integration and communication. NHFT and Priory integrated training practices, systems and outcome measurement tools, as well as their approach to cross-team working. It cannot be underestimated how important these integrations have been to the success of the partnership, as well as to patient care and family liaison.
Together, we have successfully established an end-to-end pathway for acute mental health patients in Nottinghamshire, ensuring high quality care closer to home. Patient outcomes are at the forefront of our approach and we aim to achieve minimum lengths of stay for individuals in our care, and to work collaboratively with discharge teams, ensuring a smooth transition back to existing community services or to an individual’s home.
The partnership has also seen other benefits, including:
- Patient satisfaction: a recent patient commented: “Priory staff were absolutely fantastic during my stay. They were supportive and warm. They taught me how to live”
- Outcome attainment: by incorporating NHFT’s systems, including shared use of a digital outcome tool, we have successfully ensured patient length of stay has been significantly reduced across Nottinghamshire
- Increased stakeholder involvement: relevant teams have regular meetings providing oversight of patient transition and available beds
In reference to the partnership, and particularly the support provided at Calverton Hill, Dr John Brewin, NHFT Chief Executive explained: "the demand for adult mental health beds has continued to increase…and we wanted to continue to be able to provide more care for people closer to home”.
The partnership between Priory and NHFT has been used by both organisations as a case study for partnership working, improving care locally.
Ultimately, we are able to work together collaboratively, to provide a service that serves its locality in the most effective way; best for commissioners, providers, teams, families and ultimately, the patients we support.
A former patient at Priory Hospital Nottingham, provided feedback to their treating team: “thank you all for looking after me…you’ve helped me build my life, working with me closely with DBT, art, walks and therapy…me and my family are truly grateful”.
Partnership recognised by industry
Priory and NHFT’s approach to collaborative working has been recognised by being shortlisted for the HSJ Partnership Awards 2020, under the category ‘Best Healthcare Provider Partnership with the NHS’.
The awards celebrate the most effective partnerships with the NHS and highlight the benefits that working with the private sector can bring to patients and NHS organisations.
Kathryn Allison, Priory’s NHS Service Development Director, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the HSJ Partnership Awards 2020, recognising the collaborative efforts and dedication of our teams, working alongside NHFT. We are committed to delivering improved outcomes for patients, and to be chosen among the other incredible nominees is a great achievement. This nomination has been a big boost to both our team and our NHS partner at NHFT, as it’s an example of how cross-sector partnership working can improve treatment pathways and outcomes for the local population”.
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