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Case studies NHS Service improvement

Understanding the impact of Depression

There is a clear gap in data availability in mental health, highlighted by the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, and with many of the ongoing changes in the NHS, being able to provide this level of data to the health and care system would be extremely helpful. Lundbeck commissioned a project to create a tool that would help local mental health teams to understand what was happening and how to improve care.

The scenario

Lundbeck commissioned a project to understand the variation of care in depression, having previously commissioned a project within a different therapy area which had been extremely valuable for highlighting issues of relevance to health and care professionals to support improving outcomes.

There is a clear gap in data availability in mental health, highlighted by the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, and with many of the ongoing changes in the NHS, being able to provide this level of data to the health and care system would be extremely helpful.

It would help engage health and care professionals in a positive and productive manner as they become increasingly busy and time-limited. It would also allow the identification of specific problems and highlight solutions that help improve outcomes for patients with depression, and reductions in variations in care and cost can be introduced.

The objectives

  1. To be able to provide health and care professionals with a data source that helped them to fill the gap and gain a better understanding of the true costs and impact of depression at a local level to inform better decisions
  2. To have a resource that provided sufficient value that health and care professionals wanted to engage with on a relevant agenda that supports identifying where care can be improved
  3. To provide a data source that allowed a better understanding of local NHS challenges, identify the specific challenges for health and care professionals and the local NHS are facing, then work collaboratively to provide bespoke solutions aimed at improving the care of people suffering from depression.

The outcome / Results

Some headline key findings:

  • depression has a significant cost and resource burden to the NHS and the wider health and care system
  • there is a great deal of variation between different areas
  • costs fall outside metal health trusts, often within acute trusts not covered by block contracts
  • there is a high proportion of patients with depression in contact with specialist mental health services who sit within lower care clusters that could potentially be more appropriately managed in primary care services

The real impact of depression may be ‘hidden’ because the true system demand and patient burden of people with depression isn’t easily quantified and therefore fully understood without access to the local data, which is provided in this tool.

The Impact of Depression tool has highlighted many opportunities for improvement, including review of local pathways to encourage greater adherence to NICE guidelines. For further information, download the full case study.

What our client said

Health and care professionals want to engage around the data. This has helped increase the focus and priority placed on improving depression management at a local NHS level. The real impact of depression may be 鈥榟idden鈥 because the true system demand and patient burden of people with depression (costs in different NHS settings and patients鈥 functional impairment) isn鈥檛 easily quantified and therefore fully understood without access to the local data, which is provided in this tool.

Get in touch

For more information, speak to your account manager or contact our dedicated team via email at info@wilmingtonhealthcare.com, or by phoning 01268 495600.