EPaCCS improves care and saves money

Categories: Care.

The evaluation, carried out by the Whole Systems Partnership, found that an increase in home deaths in areas that have implemented EPaCCS equates to an annual saving of £35,910 per 200,000 population.

The purpose of EPaCCS is to support the coordination of care so that people’s choices about where they die, and the nature of the care and support they receive, will be respected and achieved wherever possible.

The independent evaluation involved four localities which have been early implementers of EPaCCS.

Despite evidence that more people were dying at home, data from local hospitals did not show a consistent decrease in hospital deaths – although there were reductions in some localities. However, the researchers calculated an annual saving of £60,997 per 200,000 population, due to shorter hospital stay at the end of life. The evaluation did not calculate any associated increase in costs for community services.

The evaluation calculated that the costs of implementing EPaCCS are in the region of £21,000 for start-up, and then £8,000 annually, per 200,000 population.

Feedback on EPaCCS also indicated significant benefits in improved coordination of care, better relationships between patients and professionals and an improved experience for patients and carers. However, feedback from professionals also highlighted the challenges of implementing a new system.

The evaluation report also makes a number of recommendations for commissioners, as well as those planning the implementation of an EPaCCS system. These include ensuring a method for gathering feedback from patients and carers, and making sure care homes are fully involved and have appropriate access to the EPaCCS system.

The evaluation report can be downloaded from the National End of Life Care Programme website. EPaCCS is part of NHS Improving Quality‘s work on enhancing quality of life for people with long-term conditions.

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