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Community matron plan 'big success'

A pilot study of a community matrons scheme has made dramatic claims for its ability to cut hospital admissions and GP workload.

The Cornish pilot for the NHS Modernisation Agency reported active case management could bring striking falls in the number of admissions, home visits, telephone consultations, surgery visits and out-of-hours calls.

Helen Lyndon, lead community matron on the Elder Care Project in Cornwall, told the Primary Care 2006 conference in Birmingham the 12-matron pilot had saved an estimated £914,000 in its first year against start-up costs of £379,000.

But Professor Martin Roland, who is evaluating the Evercare case management pilots, was sceptical.

He said: 'If you select people on the basis of past admissions they tend to have less problems in subsequent years.'

He added: 'These sorts of figures without a comparison group are very difficult to

interpret.'

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