Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa hailed the success of a project supporting vulnerable people in the community which has dramatically eased demand on emergency services.
Derventio Housing Trust's High Intensity Users project, which received £25,000 from the PCC's Community Action Grant fund last year, has been working with partners to support 25 people primarily in the Bolsover and North East Derbyshire area with a range of complex needs including social isolation, mental health problems, homelessness and drug and alcohol dependency.
The people the project is helping do not access scheduled and routine health and social care services and instead rely on a 999 response for help, placing these services under extreme pressure and negatively impacting the response to others in need.
In a 12-month period, 10 addresses in one division were responsible for 1052 calls to the emergency services - at a cost of £100k to the taxpayer. In a six-month period, hospital activity from frequent attenders cost the NHS £600K.
The pilot project, which brings together a number of key agencies including health, police and housing, delivers early intervention through a range of support networks to prevent crisis situations from developing which require a 999 response.
Early results are impressive and the project has far exceeded its original targets, achieving:
- 76.19% reduction in 999 calls
- 100% reduction in police attendances
- 96.77% reduction in primary care/emergency admissions.
- 100% reduction in 111 calls (NHS Medical Helpline)
Commenting on its success, the Commissioner said: "This project has accomplished exactly what it set out to do which is to free up our emergency services to deal with dangerous and life-threatening situations which warrant a real 999 response.
"It's a shining example of how interconnectivity between partners can solve big problems and I'm really impressed with the impact it's already having on emergency hospital admissions and police attendances.
"Helping vulnerable people to solve their problems is one of the primary goals of my Police and Crime Plan and is very much the path towards a safer future. Charging people repeatedly for nuisance offences will rarely solve the problem, even temporarily. People-centred care or put simply, treating people individually for all their complexities, will result in stronger, more permanent change."
Sarah Hernandez, Managing Director of Derventio Housing Trust, said:
"The High Intensity User Service gives people one-to-one support, helping them to learn how best to get help, and to build a strong support network round themselves. This helps them feel more in control of their lives, and know how to get the help they need when they need it.
"Derventio Housing Trust's Healthy Futures project has an excellent track record of using a personalised approach to make a difference to individuals and to health services and we are proud to work in partnership with police and health colleagues to reach more people through the High Intensity Users project."