For a 12-month period between 2022 and 2023, The Life Rooms piloted an innovative social model of health across St Helens, Knowsley, Halton, and Warrington, working with key clinical and community teams to provide both a social prescribing and learning offer, with the aim to provide preventative and easy-access support to community members.
Mersey Care is the first NHS Trust in the UK to have interoperability between RiO and Elemental. The pilot successfully trialled this interoperability of clinical and social prescribing systems to improve the speed and effectiveness of the referral process, as well as improve service user experience and care.
The impact on clinical teams
Our evaluation of the impact of interoperability between Mersey Care mental health teams and The Life Rooms demonstrates a number of key areas where the connectivity of services made a positive difference on;
- reducing the amount of time clinicians spent on addressing the social needs of their service users,
- clinicians knowing that the social needs of service users were being supported by specialists at The Life Rooms,
- freeing up valuable time for clinicians to focus on therapy and urgent care,
- assurance for clinicians that their service users were receiving high quality and well governed support in areas of social need,
- the ability to access referral notes and updates to review the support their service users have accessed.
Some of the key findings from the evaluation demonstrated that;
- the amount of time clinicians spent supporting service users with social needs like housing, financial concerns, and social isolation, reduced by 70% once interoperability with The Life Rooms was introduced,
- 97.2% of clinicians surveyed felt confident in meeting the social needs of their service users by referring them to The Life Rooms,
- 91.7% of clinicians surveyed felt they would experience a negative impact on their clinical work if they could no longer refer service users to The Life Rooms.
The impact on service users
Our evaluation demonstrates that holistic support improved the wellbeing of service users, and that service users;
- found The Life Rooms easy to access and easy to discuss their concerns with our Pathways Advisors,
- felt that the support they received from The Life Rooms had a positive impact on their mental wellbeing (levels of anxiety, low mood, stress),
- felt more supported (feeling that they are not alone, that they have somehwere to turn to),
- felt that The Life Rooms supported them in building relationships (feeling less isolated/lonely, making friends, socialising),
- felt that the support they received had a positive impact on their social and practical circumstances (finance, housing, etc.).
Some of the key outcomes in the evaluation demonstrated that;
- 92.6% of service users surveyed felt that the support they received had a positive effect on their mental wellbeing (levels of anxiety, low mood, stress,
- 86.3% of service users surveyed felt that the support they received had a positive effect on building relationships (feeling less isolated/lonely, making friends, socialising),
- 85.1% of service users surveyed felt that the support they received had a positive effect on their social and practical circumstances (finance, housing etc).
Activity during the pilot project
- 1,608 new registrations to The Life Rooms through referrals and drop-ins,
- 2,054 co-produced social prescriptions,
- 1,396 individuals were referred by Mid Mersey clinical teams between September 2022 and July 2023.
Supporting Mersey Care's Clinical Strategy
Case studies with clinicians involved in the interoperability pilot project demonstrate how this holistic approach to supporting service users supports Mersey Care's Clinical Strategy, evidencing clinical excellence, prevention, integration, supporting clinical development, and being a global digital examplar. Read our case studies here.
Collaborating with Elemental
“We were delighted that Mersey Care's The Life Rooms was the first NHS Trust in the UK to benefit from our Access Elemental X RiO integration. We know social prescribing works and we work hard to ensure every individual gets put on a safe and assured pathway. Our integration with RiO has allowed Mersey Care to have both their clinical and social prescribing systems interoperable with each other to improve the speed and effectiveness of the referral. Our integration has had a significant impact on saving clinicians’ time for clinical work and we cannot wait to continue to work with Mersey Care to help improve their referral process even further, improve their outcomes, and help make their social prescribing service more accessible and sustainable in the future.” Leeann Monk-Ozgul, Operations Director at Access Elemental Social Prescribing
The Life Rooms have now rolled this successful interoperability between RiO and Elemental out across Mersey Care clinical mental health teams in Liverpool and Sefton. We will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of this interoperability, and the benefits for both clinical teams and service users.