Interventions designed to help Emergency Department (ED) staff manage frequent attenders are labour-intensive and only benefit a small sample of frequent attenders | Emergency Medicine Journal
We aimed to use the in-depth knowledge of health professionals with experience of working with ED frequent attenders to understand the challenges of managing this group of patients and their opinions on providing more appropriate support.
Twelve health professionals were interviewed. Three groups of frequent attenders were identified: people with long-term physical conditions, mental health problems and health-related anxiety. Underlying reasons for attendance differed between the groups, highlighting the need for targeted interventions. Suggested interventions included improving self-management of long-term physical conditions; creating a ‘go-to’ place away from the ED for patients experiencing a mental health crisis; increasing the provision of mental health liaison services; and for patients with health-related anxiety, the role of the GP in the patients’ care pathway was emphasised, as were the benefits of providing additional training for ED staff to help identify and support this group.
Full reference: Ablard, S. et al. (2017) Can more appropriate support and services be provided for people who attend the emergency department frequently? National Health Service staff views. Emergency Medicine Journal. Published Online First: 31 August 2017