100 Ways of Using Data to Make Lives Better

Improving Care and Services for Patients with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Problems

Published on: 8th September 2016

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Case Study 9
Public Health

Sarah Rees, Ting Wang, Dan Thayer, Mathilda Castagnet, Ann John – Swansea University
Janet Keauffling, Nurse for the Homeless Swansea
Jane Harrison, ABMU

Individuals experiencing both mental health and substance misuse problems have many complex needs that require high levels of care. This research project provided vital evidence to help improve and change how services are provided to patients.

The Challenge

Individuals experiencing both mental health and substance misuse problems have many complex needs that require high levels of care. The Welsh Government has advised that mental health and substance misuse services need to work together to ensure skills and expertise are put to best use and the best care is provided to patients.

It is widely recognised that the support for patients in Wales is, at present, not satisfactory. This is partly due to the lack of evidence about the demands on health and care services. Without understanding how many people in the region suffer from both mental health and substance misuse problems, it is hard to see where improvements should be made.

The Research

The team, which included researchers at The Farr Institute from Swansea University, worked with data from the SAIL Databank which removes the identities of all the people in the study to protect their privacy and to comply with all data protection rules. This information was linked to data from GP practices in Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMU) to establish how many people in Wales are currently recorded as suffering with both mental health and substance misuse problems.

The Results

This project provided the first insight into how many adults have both mental health and substance misuse problems by using information from primary care, such as GP surgeries, for Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMU) in Swansea, Wales.

The Impact

This research provided vital evidence that can be used to help improve and change how services are provided to patients. By safely and securely linking different sets of data together, the team was able to provide evidence about demands on health services that were previously unknown. This evidence is vital in helping to change and improve the treatment and care that patients in the area receive.

For more information about mental health visit www.nhsdirect.wales.
nhs.uk/encyclopaedia/m/article/mentalhealth

Enquiries to Sarah Toomey, Communications Officer, Farr Institute CIPHER
s.toomey@swansea.ac.uk

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