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Feature Essay

New era for health services will focus on systems and creativity—an essay by Nick Black

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2605 (Published 06 July 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k2605

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Compassionate Frome

New era for health services will focus on systems and creativity—an essay by Nick Black

Nick Black is right to look towards creativity in trying to solve the current tangle of the NHS. With respect to the Compassionate Frome Project, the difference between this intervention and others is that the admissions reductions are population based, across the whole town of Frome, 28,000 people. This is the first intervention that has successfully reduced emergency admissions across a population, as opposed to a cohort, such as frail elderly of multiple long term conditions. We have found that emphasising this difference is helpful in trying to understand the significant change that has taken place in Frome, at a time when emergency admissions in Somerset have increased by 26%. Uniting a compassionate community project with primary care has produced profound outcomes. The impact of food social relationships are more effective than giving up smoking, drinking, diet, exercise etc. (1). We have learnt how to bring this into routine clinical practice. The results are not surprising when taking this into account.

1. Holt-Lunstad J, Smith TB, Layton JB (2010) Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review. PLoS Med 7(7): e1000316. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316

Competing interests: No competing interests

02 September 2018
Julian Abel
Director, Compassionate Communities UK, honorary senior researcher, University of Bradford
University of Bradford
Cornwall