Mental Health Flow Tool

Driving care closer to home and delivering £5.5m in acute inpatient savings

Our client, a leading Mental Health Trust, sought support to move to a care closer to home model across its Acute pathway. It recognised that this was a cultural organisation development challenge, which needed underpinning by excellent data visibility to support clinical leads to redesign services across the inpatient & community pathways.

Real World Health deployed the Mental Health Flow Tool to provide visibility over how every SU was passing through Trust services. The Tool has different levels of visibility, from visualising the whole trust “flow system” down to a single unique service user journey. This immediately highlighted the extent of planned ‘step up/step down’ care versus unplanned emergency care interventions. It was easy to target & track high-impact flow improvement interventions.

Rapid clinical consensus was built across the organisation when armed with this visibility, while infographics helped communicate pathway changes. A raft of operating model changes was implemented, supported by a weekly cross-locality trend review meeting. Leads from different services received an automated flow pack via the Flow Tool, and all admissions & long stayers were scrutinised. Localities shared learnings from both pathway redesign & operating rigour improvements that helped them stay within local bed allocations.

The result was the closure of old, Victorian wards, ~70 bed reduction in total – equivalent to £5.5m in annualised savings – while minimal out of area bed usage was maintained. Occupied bed days (OBDs) continue to fall on a population weighted basis, and the Flow Tool rigours have been extended across both Rehab & CYP pathways.

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