Introduction The Rapid Access to Carers at End of Life service aims to provide a rapid response Hospice at Home night service for the whole of Worcestershire for patients at the end of life when all other appropriate sources of support are unavailable.
▶ To provide support for carers who are struggling to cope and so enable patients to remain at home
▶ To prevent avoidable admissions and readmissions to hospital and to enable rapid discharges
▶ To allow time to review and establish suitable packages of care To support district nursing teams at times of patient crisis by providing rapidly accessible end of life nursing care.
Methods Carers are on-call to provide care at any time of the night. Requests for shifts will be generated by a District Nurse or Community Practitioner who will have completed a risk assessment of the patient and home environment. The service will provide care up until an alternative care package is arranged, up to a maximum of 48 h.
Success will be analysed by the number shifts provided, feedback from patients, patients' families and referrers to the service and analysis of intervention outcomes, for example number of admissions avoided or discharges expedited.
Results The feedback we have had from referrers and patients has been positive and supportive of the scheme. We have received a total of 41 referrals which resulted in the provision of a total of 61 nights of care which equates to over 535 h of patient support.
Current conclusions Initial findings suggest that the service will continue to expand and the number of referrals increase as the Community Practitioners and other referring staff become more familiar with the service. This is a 6 month pilot and we will be conducting a full evaluation at the end of this period.
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