Nearly 10 years ago, Think Outs’ Co-Founder, Rhian Monteith developed the first High Intensity Use (HIU) service in the country. Since then, with Rhian’s guidance, and support from the NHS, HIU services have gone from strength to strength. Eighty percent of England is now covered by a HIU service, based on the approach Rhian pioneered.

With Think Outs’ support, the British Red Cross is now the biggest provider of HIU services in the country. They’ve invested in some valuable research which they launched in November 2021.

The research, Nowhere else to turn: exploring high intensity use of accident and emergency services, shows that people from the most deprived areas of the UK are more likely to be in poor health and most likely to attend A&E most frequently, making high intensity use of A&E fundamentally a health inequalities issue.

The British Red Cross apply the term ‘High intensity Use’ to a patient who attends A&E more than five times a year. The research shows found that some people have gone to A&E more than 300 times in one year and estimate that this has cost the NHS £2.5bn per year.

The report calculates that people who are rushed repeatedly to hospital have a real impact on emergency services, representing 16% of attendances, 29% of ambulance journeys and 26% of admissions.

High Intensity Use services show that there are ways that we can better support people who frequently attend A&E so that they don’t feel they have nowhere else to turn. 

Find out more in the video developed by the British Red Cross in which Rhian describes the background to HIU services.

We’re really proud to be helping reduce health inequalities by supporting the development of HIU services across the country.