NHS Borders are tackling mental illness

NHS Borders is seeing a reduction in mental health readmission rates to hospital thanks to the Board’s Mental Health Service providing better support in the community for patients.

The Scottish Government was recently asked to provide information from all Health Boards on hospital readmission rates within 28 days following discharge from a mental health facility.

The figures provided by NHS Borders in response covered the last three financial years and demonstrated there had been a consistent reduction in readmissions within 28 days in NHS Borders, from 57 (13.64%) in 2009 to 28 (7.93%) in 2011.

Improvements made include better planning before and after discharge within adult services and the employment of support workers to visit people following discharge to help them settle in when they return home. Also underway is the development of specialist supported accommodation to enable patients to remain at home as an alternative to hospital admission.

For the older adults’ services, liaison nurses have been introduced to help care homes to manage more complex patients as an alterative to hospital admission. Community services have also expanded to support people to remain at home and reduce the likelihood of hospital readmission.