Enhanced Day Hospice is a pilot project in Northern Ireland funded by the local Integrated Care Partnership for End of Life Care. This service comprises four designated sessions of medical cover for day hospice including provision of specialist palliative medicine input, working alongside and with support from a staff nurse as well as additional support from the day hospice nurse manager and day hospice volunteers.
It enables a holistic assessment of patients affected by any life-limiting illness. Provided they are well enough to attend, they are also likely to be in the last year (or years) of life, undergoing rapid change in health status, wish to live independently for as long as possible, learning how to manage and minimise the symptoms of their condition(s) with the help (potentially) of family, carers and healthcare staff. Day hospice is a well-established model of outpatient hospice care and was identified as a key aspect of specialist palliative care delivery in the Living Matters Dying Matters strategy for Northern Ireland in 2010.
Patient surveys undertaken across hospices in Northern Ireland indicate that patients greatly value this service and in particular having access to a dedicated day hospice service, whilst carers value the respite time.
Anticipated outcomes of Enhanced Day Hospice:
Improve ability to manage illness related change for patients, families, carers
Reduce risks of social isolation
Anticipate and plan for potential crises
Improve experience of end-of-life for patients, carers, families
Reduce reliance on primary and secondary care services during time of intense health challenge.
Reduction in hospital deaths
Improved discharge planning and capacity
Improved support for Home Care Nursing Team – Increased domiciliary visits
Improved palliative medicine outpatient capacity
Reduction in need by patients for other services.
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