AN effort to reduce the frequency that a group of repeat A&E attenders visit hospital has been 'successful' according to health bosses.

The North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said it had implemented a 'programme of work' and 'tailored care' to help a group of 25 repeat attenders at the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.

In total, 25 'regular' patients attended the University Hospital of North Tees' A&E department more than 380 times between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018.

The programme, which involved in-depth analysis of those with identified and unidentified mental health needs, was designed to provide additional and personalised support, removing the need for members of the group to regularly visit A&E.

A team of University Hospital of North Tees clinicians worked along with staff from the North East Ambulance Service, Adult Safeguarding Team, Cleveland Police and staff from drug and alcohol services.

Kay Adeboye, clinical lead at the trust, said: "To make the programme work, we put in place a meeting with representatives from cross-organisations where we are able to discuss attendances on a case by case basis, with the relevant professional input."

Mr Adeboye said the additional support was now 'business as usual' and had proved 'joint-working' had met the needs of the repeat attenders.

The trust said between April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, there had been an overall 56.4 percent reduction in the attendances from members of the group, following efforts.

Mr Adeboye added: "This has resulted in an improved patient journey by ensuring that every patient received the best possible care in the right place at the right time, having a positive impact on overall patient experience and clinical outcomes."

Eve Newbury, team manager for psychiatry liaison at Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, said the Teesside hospital had been able to identify service users and personalised care plans to reduce the reliance of A&E.

She said: "The achievement of this is a result of building on work around high intensity users of services and the commitment to partnership working from everyone involved.

"We have been able to identify service users and invite them to co-produce personalised care plans allowing them to access the right care in the right place at the right time.

"These plans allow for a greater understanding of an individual, allowing us to identify their unmet needs so we can signpost them to the most appropriate service consequently reducing attendance at A&E.

"We hope this work continues and I look forward to seeing what developments the next year will bring."