A woman who used to visit West Middlesex Hospital's emergency ward almost every day has seen her life transformed by a scheme to help frequent A&E attenders.
Claire Whittle was a familiar face at the hospital in Twickenham Road, Isleworth, regularly showing up with chest pains for which medics could find no cause.
But they are seeing much less of her after underlying stress and anxiety was identified as the root of the problems, allowing the issues to be addressed.
Claire is one of 65 patients identified during 2014 in a collaboration between the hospital and mental health chiefs, half of whom have been helped to significantly reduce the time they spend in the emergency department.
Under the 'Frequent Attenders' programme, A&E regulars like her are each given care plans tailored to their personal needs and are put in touch with the appropriate agencies.
"The frequent attenders team have really changed my life for the better. I've suffered some personal tragedies in my life, and struggled with mental health issues and physical difficulties, but they've helped me get my confidence back," she said.
"I now work in Oxfam one day a week, I'm an active campaigner for mental health, I sing at my local Pentecostal church and I've also helped with the programme itself; collecting information and leaflets and creating a patient feedback form. None of these things would have happened without the programme."
As well as finding herself in A&E less often, the former 60-a-day woman has been helped to quit smoking, shed three-and-a-half stone and better manage her diabetes.
Staff at West Mid's A&E worked with West London Mental Health Trust's liaison psychiatry team to develop the programme, which is now funded by Health Education North West London.
It has been credited with reducing demand on the hospital's emergency department at a time when it is under intense pressure, with waiting time targets having been missed for several weeks running over Christmas.
Dr Emma Schofield, who leads the scheme for the hospital with senior nurse Lisa Newbury, said: "It really has been a team effort and working in conjunction with liaison psychiatry has really helped us address the underlying problems of our frequent attenders and get to the bottom of why they attend A&E so often.
"It has also improved our relationship with this type of patient; we are better equipped to understand why they come in, realising that there is often a serious underlying reason which is not always their presenting complaint."