Over 500 patient encounters in Integrated Health Clinic’s first year

Friday 2 September 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is celebrating the first year of the Integrated Healthcare Clinic (IHC) a year after it opened at the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre. Having launched in July 2021, the IHC offers people in the East End who need mental health and chronic illness services a place to receive care closer to home.

The IHC runs once a week on Wednesday mornings at the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, so it does not impact the delivery of urgent care services, which start later in the day on weekdays and on weekends.

IHC project lead and Chief of Psychiatry Dr Anna Neilson-Williams notes: “It has been a very positive experience for our clients. For mental health clients especially, it provides a more relaxed feel, compared to visiting the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, but across all the services people appreciate having their regular appointments closer to home. We have managed through multiple COVID waves, using remote consults when required for safety. This means just over a quarter of our patient encounters have been via telephone, but the feedback has been consistent that using this location improves access and experience of patients.”

In the year it has been open, 145 patients have been seen at the IHC and there have been over 500 patient encounters. The IHC services include mental health, diabetes and asthma services, as well as the Patient-Centred Medical Home (PCMH), which sees patients who have one or more chronic illnesses but who do not have insurance or who are under-insured.

R Scott Pearman, executive sponsor for the integrated healthcare programme at BHB and deputy CEO, comments: “We are so pleased at the positive response from patients who have been using the IHC, and we are excited about next steps. The IHC is part of a broader strategy at BHB to improve access to care, and improve the outcomes for and wellbeing of our community.
Our integrated approach is to listen to and work with our patients to make improvements, bring hospital services closer to people who need them, and coordinate more closely with our partners in the community.”

In this first year, the IHC has been run as a pilot to see if delivering hospital services closer to home is beneficial to patients. BHB asked a number of patients to explain what difference it has made to them coming to the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, and these are some of the responses.

It has made a huge difference as I live in St George’s and am elderly”

“I am disabled and the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre is not a long walk as parking is close and always available. Not like the other places.”

“What was good about my care at the IHC was the pleasant receptionist on the front line, the sincerity and concern of the nurse in attendance. And location…location…location. Parking is never an issue.”

One mental health services patient explained the impact of the location compared to MWI:

“As soon as you pull into MWI and get out of your car the stigma starts. It’s with Bermudians period. If you actually go inside the building it’s worse – not from the psychiatric staff but from other staff like security – that’s when it really starts. When I went over to the clinic even though the hospital part wasn’t open, I didn’t have those types of feelings when I walked in. Feeling like anyone was watching or was going to say something. I felt so much more relaxed going to my therapy because the whole atmosphere was 100 percent different. Different in a real positive way. When I would leave MWI, although I may have had a very good session, the stress kicks right back in just like it did when I entered. All the people seeing me and looking, and me feeling bad about myself and my situation. Coming out in St David’s I feel refreshed it’s really hard to explain the depth of it, but the good feeling from the session stayed with me and that’s the first time I had experienced that feeling in all the years that I’ve been in therapy. I started when I was 21 and now I’m in my 60s, so that’s a long, long, time.”

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Notes to Editors
The Bermuda Hospitals Board is a quango (quasi autonomous non-governmental organisation) established under the Bermuda Hospitals Board Act, 1970. It has a Bermuda Government-approved Board and a Chief Executive Officer, responsible for King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. At the heart of both organisations is high-quality care to all patients.

With approximately 1,700 employees, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is Bermuda's second largest employer. King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute are the only healthcare organisations in Bermuda accredited by Accreditation Canada, an independent organisation whose role is to help hospitals examine and improve the quality of care and service they provide to their clients. In addition to providing an extensive list of services for the community, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is part of a referral network that includes some of the world's leading specialist hospitals.

For more information, please visit www.bermudahospitals.bm or contact the Bermuda Hospitals Board Public Relations Department at publicrelations@bhb.bm.