Clinical health coaching can help cut down the number of hospital admissions for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and could cut costs for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), a study has found.
The three-year programme in Leicester saw a 67% drop in unscheduled COPD admissions in patients who had previously had at least two or more unplanned hospital stays in the previous year.
Leicester City CCG also reported savings of £117,550.
In 2013-14 there were 116,000 hospital admissions in England for patients with COPD, with patients spending an average of six days in hospital.
Patients who participated in the scheme in Leicester said they were more knowledgeable about their condition and felt more confident about managing it.
They received specialist nurse care management and telecoaching and telemonitoring in the managed model of care scheme commissioned by Leicester City CCG together with Leicester Partnership Trust, Totally Health and Spirit Healthcare.
The coaching also motivated patients to change their behaviour and aims to empower them, the report published in the British Journal of Healthcare Management found.
Clinical coaching offers a personal and confidential service with nurses offering one to one support, usually over the telephone to patients with at least one long-term medical condition.
It is designed to help teach them to self manage their condition, to reduce its day-to-day impact on their health and improve the quality of their life while keeping them out of hospital.
The study found that as well as clinical benefits the intervention helped cut costs.
Leicester City CCG reported £117,550 Quality Innovation Productivity and Prevention savings over a year.
Dr Durairaj Jawahar, who is the COPD clinical lead for Leicester City CCG said: “Our patients got the support of managing their own condition at home.”