Horton Housing Association has worked with York Health Economics Consortium to develop a robust evaluation of their new integrated intermediate care service with Bevan Healthcare.
Horton Housing Association opened its 14-bed respite and intermediate care facility in Bradford in December 2013. The BRICCS project is part of a network of linked services to provide specialist healthcare and support for people who are homeless or are living in unsuitable, insecure or dangerous accommodation. Horton Housing Association work closely with Bevan Healthcare - a primary care social enterprise, and local health providers, including the CCG and Bradford Public Health.
The BRICCS project was funded through the Department of Health’s 2013 Homeless Hospital Discharge Fund which paid for a major part of the purchase and refurbishment of the building with a further contribution from Horton Housing Association. However, the initial revenue grant only provided three month’s revenue funding leaving Horton Housing Association the challenge of finding multi-agency support and a sustainable future revenue funding stream. An early decision was taken with project partners to pool available research and evaluation funding to pay for an independent external health economic assessment of the project’s impact. Independent consultancy, York Health Economics Consortium (YHEC) was commissioned to carry this out.
To evaluate early impact, YHEC completed a rapid review of published research on similar interventions, sourcing the equivalent information on outcomes and costs to allow a comparison. They then analysed the first 16 referrals to the project in the first three months of operation to look at reasons for referral,
details of the care and support provided, and the outcomes and impact. YHEC’s interim evaluation report provided detailed, but anonymous, case studies following five clients. Using Department of Health reference costs for 2102-13 the report outlined the likely costs to the NHS had the BRICCS project not been in place. The early findings have shown that the project has been successful in reducing acute hospital stays for people with complex needs, facilitating early discharge and also ensuring that people are connected to appropriate support services. The ongoing evaluation will provide more detailed data on the impacts of the service, for example, monitoring rates of hospital re-admission and the outcomes for individual service users. The researchers will also provide further assessment of the cost savings and potential impact to the NHS.
The positive early findings and quality of the quantitative health economic data convinced Bradford City CCG and Bradford Public Health to provide revenue funding for a further year. In addition, Horton Housing Association has been contacted by a neighbouring CCG to discuss service expansion.