St Clare Hospice Day Therapy was seeing an increasing number of patients with neurodegenerative conditions. From our observations the existing day therapy model did not meet these patients and carers needs. It was identified that a closer working relationship with our neurological specialist nurse colleagues would improve the care given to these patients and carers by using our combined expertise in a psycho-educational group.
To provide a psychoeducational group for patients and their carers, working in collaboration with our NHS colleagues with the appropriate expertise.
To evaluate patient and carer experience of the group.
To support an extension of hospice services and open access to people with neurodegenerative conditions.
Methods A pilot group for patients and carers to attend together, with some sessions delivered separately for carers and patients was developed. It provided education to address physical, spiritual, psychological and social issues delivered in a sequence designed to facilitate the development of therapeutic alliance; building trust and confidence in the participants and staff.
The interdisciplinary group involved physiotherapists, neurological nurse specialists, social workers, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and nutrition nurses.
Outcomes A questionnaire was used to evaluate the service.
83% of attendees felt the group met their needs and expectations and 92% felt that having access to the MDT was useful. 98% of people attending the group went on to access other hospice services.
Comments on the group included:
At the time of attending for the first time I was very low, but now feel there is help around me.
The whole group situation was very helpful to my needs
Application to practice In collaboration with our NHS colleagues we were able to provide appropriate services for patients and carers with neurodegenerative diseases in a palliative care setting. Cooperation from different services is required for this type of group to be successful.
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