New Care Home Study Reduces Emergency Hospital Admissions by 75%

New research from Barnet Hospital has revealed that the introduction of care home multi-disciplinary teams (MDT) can drastically reduce emergency admissions, helping to ease pressures faced by the NHS.

The study, supported by the end of life charity, Marie Curie, was carried out in three residential care homes across North London. One of the care homes reduced emergency admissions by 75% after MDTs were introduced, as well as reducing the time each resident spent in hospital. 

MDT interventions also resulted in 76% of residents having advance care plans initiated and reviewed. The collaboration between medical staff allowed them to focus on people-centered care, ensuring that those living in care homes could have their end-of-life preferences documented.

Additionally, medications were reduced by two per person across all three care homes with the support of MDT. The presence of the pharmacist also resulted in fewer medications being prescribed, which will reduce sides effects, including falls and delirium. 

Debbie Ripley, Associate Director Strategic Partnerships and Services London at Marie Curie said:

“Unnecessary admissions are both scary and confusing for residents, especially if they are one of the 80% of the care home population living with dementia. They are also a burden on precious NHS resources. It is staggering to see the impact MDTs can have on reducing unplanned hospital admissions and helping residents record their wishes and plans for care. Everyone should have the best possible experience toward the end of their lives and this type of MDT appears to help people achieve that in this care setting.”

Lead researcher Dr Anna Steel, from Barnet Hospital said:

“We have an exceptionally large care home population in Barnet. For residents living with frailty, improving accessibility to healthcare services through an MDT approach helps residents to age well and avoid unnecessary interventions. Our goal is to help our care home residents live their best lives through our holistic MDT approach.”

The research, published in the journal BMC Health Services Research, involved 34 care home residents, across three care homes in North London. The MDTs were formed of seniors and trainees in geriatrics, psychiatry, pharmacist, and residential home senior staff providing interventions. For each individual there were three-hour intervention sessions and each one included an educational presentation which was made available to all staff.