On 01 February, 45 health and care stakeholders were brought together in Exeter by the South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN), Northern Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG), Plymouth Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Plymouth and Devon Public Health teams to explore and create enhanced options for people affected by alcohol dependency.
Hugh Groves, Chief Finance Officer, NEW Devon CCG opened the day, giving a CCG perspective and highlighting the importance of reimagining and improving the pathways in which alcohol dependent people travel through to receive help. Lynne Kilner, Commissioning Lead, NEW Devon CCG, followed Hugh and explained why alcohol dependency is increasing and how this, consequently has a significant impact on the health outcomes of our population and the finances of our health and care system.
Attendees including healthcare professionals, voluntary sector providers, charities and commissioners, shared their expertise and worked collaboratively throughout the day. They viewed patient experiences to gain insights and generate ideas to improve the processes currently undertaken by the alcohol dependency service providers. The aim is then to use these responses to create and deliver alcohol dependency pathways that have a patient outcome focused approach.
Lynne Kilner, Commissioning Lead, NEW Devon CCG: “‘It has been great to bring a real mixed group of people into the room with a shared interest in the topic of alcohol dependency. It was accepted that it is rarely just alcohol we are talking about as a problem for people, and that it overlaps with lots of complex needs and other areas. To focus on this has been a real opportunity and has been very much valued by us. It is hopefully the start of a process in trying to understand how we could deliver services differently to people who have been impacted by alcohol in their lives. The outcome of the day may well be to influence the existing ways of working or it may lead to an entirely new service response.”
The main responses from this event will be refined and developed with various stakeholders with the aim of getting them trialed with service providers in the South West. Once confirmed, outputs will influence strategic developments directly within alcohol pathways and on a wider basis around commissioning for complex needs.
The Alcohol Pathways Hackathon, facilitated by the Innovation Unit, forms part of a series of Hackathons organised by the SW AHSN to solve complex issues in the health and care system. The SW AHSN will continue to work in partnership with organisations in the South West to deliver topic specific hackathons in order to improve the health and care service in our region.
CALL FOR FUTURE HACKATHON CHALLENGES: we are always looking for new challenges to test our hackathon methodology as a collaborative way of problem solving complex issues within health and care. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if there is a challenge you think should be explored.