A housing association’s support service for vulnerable customers with mental health issues is making a significant contribution to primary care support according to one GP’s assessment.
The Tenancy Support team at VIVID, one of the south’s leading housing associations with around 70,000 customers, has been operating in partnership with Solent NHS Trust and the Keep Well Collaborative to support front line health professionals – enabling earlier interventions, help reduce delayed discharges, and supporting high intensity users of NHS services.
With a routine GP appointment estimated to cost around £45, the basic cost of a 999 call £64.59, and an A&E visit is £80.55, VIVID’s wellbeing team has been calculated to have saved the NHS up to £1,500 over a month of care for just one patient.
Hampshire GP Tim Cooper referred a VIVID customer (K) to Tenancy Support after the combined impact of a death of a son and a burglary exacerbated their previously diagnosed Obsessive Compulsory Disorder and anxiety. VIVID engaged with K to create a bespoke care plan, take actions for the customer to feel safe at home and access welfare funds to replace household items lost or damaged in the burglary.
Dr Cooper said:
“Before I ask for VIVID’s support, K had been accessing the surgery daily as well as calling 999 and attending A&E when we weren’t available. Once I engaged with VIVID I saw a rapid decline in GP visits down to a weekly 20-minute appointment, and far fewer emergency service calls.
“K’s mental health was a serious concern. VIVID’s team worked with him directly and became a pivotal part of his care during this difficult period, reducing reliance on primary care and having a significant positive impact on both K’s mental health and the general practice workload.”
The partnership developed through the Keep Well Collaborative with Solent NHS Trust has enabled us to broaden the support we are able to offer to tenants. Our wellbeing workers are the bridge for health professionals, tenancy support and other housing professionals. Working together means we can address the social factors, including housing issues, which can trigger a mental health crisis. We’re able to intervene earlier to keep VIVID customers safe and well at home.
VIVID Head of Neighbourhood Services Derek Streek said:
“Wellbeing support and our partnership with Solent NHS Trust and Keep Well Collaborative is proving a significant part of our Tenancy Services for customers with similar needs as K. We were able to help K retain his tenancy so also saving ourselves and local authority partners the high costs associated with people at real risk of homelessness.”