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Over 4,000 people in Salford recruited to CLASSIC study

A major new study to improve long-term illness of elderly Salford residents is proving a resounding success and will save an estimated £30,000 in costs across Salford.

The £1.2 million CLASSIC (Comprehensive Longitudinal Assessment of Salford Integrated Care) study has recruited over 4,300 participants in Salford to test how effective joined up services are for older people with long-term conditions.

Salford has a population of 234,916, with 34,000 residents aged 65 and over. The area has high levels of deprivation and long-term illness which are expected to increase in both frequency and demand, creating huge pressure for the NHS. Current services are organised around single long-term conditions, but many people have multiple conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease, which means that care is often fragmented and unresponsive to needs.

The Salford Integrated Care Programme (SICP) is transforming the delivery of care with more ‘joined up’ services for older people with long-term conditions and social care needs and CLASSIC will assess the impact of this work. SICP includes better access to resources and support to help people manage their own health, an integrated contact centre to assist people to get the right support and multi-disciplinary teams to make sure different services work together to get the best possible results for those people with most needs.

The SICP is being run by Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Salford City Council, NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group and Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. Funding for the study comes from the National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research (NIHR HS & DR) Programme and is being evaluated by the University of Manchester

Recruits for the study were identified using innovative profiling tool FARSITE, which searched pseudonymised local practice records for the required criteria. A list of eligible patients was then sent through to GPs to check and assess patients who were suitable for the study. Recruitment invitations were managed and mailed remotely through mail-fulfilment service Docmail. This is the first time such a link has been used with FARSITE, demonstrating real innovation in trial recruitment.

Study participants were asked to complete questionnaires on measures of service experience such as ‘How satisfied are you with your access to health services’ to allow the University of Manchester to assess the care that older people in Salford currently receive to enable them to develop new more integrated ways of delivering services.

A cohort of people aged over 65 will be filling in questionnaires over the next two years with brief measures of service experience, health and care outcomes and utilisation. These will be linked to routine data in the Salford Integrated Record and a social care dataset to provide information on clinical parameters, medication use, and interactions with NHS and social care services.

Principle Investigator Professor Peter Bower from the University of Manchester Centre for Primary Care said: “It has been a huge task and one we couldn’t have done without the collaborative hard work from all the parties involved. This has demonstrated real innovation in trial recruitment and in March the recruitment total of 4,000 was exceeded.”

Dr Shelia Mccorkindale, one of the GPs who took part in the study, said: “FARSITE is a fantastic tool for research studies such as this; it is good for looking for feasibility and is able to pinpoint patients. It is really exciting for health professionals and has lots of potential.”

“We’re very excited that recruitment for the CLASSIC study is now over target. FARSITE was a key element in delivering this success, providing a simple way to contact people quickly and efficiently. Working with Docmail, we look forward to providing streamlined recruitment for many more studies in the future.”
Professor Martin Gibson, CRN: Greater Manchester Clinical Director and NorthWest EHealth Chief Executive

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