A case study exploring the effectiveness of an innovative “5Q Care Test” to determine whether patients with complex needs require health or social care
A case study was conducted in 2016 to evaluate the effectiveness of an innovation to enable people with “complex” care requirements to be discharged from hospital to an appropriate service for their care, without using the NHS England Continuing Health Care (CHC) assessment. The setting was a rural district general hospital in England, where the quality outcomes and cost‐effectiveness of the CHC assessment being conducted in hospital were giving cause for concern. The NHS CHC Framework advocates conducting these assessments in the community where a more accurate indication of long‐term care can be determined. The “5Q Care Test” was collaboratively developed with health and social care partners, care providers, and CHC interest groups, including users of the services. It was implemented as a tool to support moving the CHC assessment into the community, as it enabled practitioners to swiftly determine patients' appropriate initial care pathway out of hospital. A full economic impact analysis was conducted 7 months after the tool was introduced. The results showed significant improvement in the quality and cost‐effectiveness of the “5Q Care Test,” with a reduction in the hospital length of stay, which is known to be associated with improved outcomes for patients and financial savings.
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