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Partnership working to deliver seven day access to specialist palliative care
  1. Alison Foster1,
  2. Tracy Livingstone2 and
  3. Gail Cadell2
  1. 1Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Wales, UK
  2. 2Nightingale House Hospice, Wales, UK


Introduction Provision of 7-day specialist palliative care services in all care settings has been identified as a key standard for statutory sector providers for a number of years. In 2009, in response to the recommendations of the All Wales Palliative Care Review and the Palliative Care Implementation Board, a Ministerial Letter was issued throughout Wales, requiring implementation of 7-day working for specialist palliative care.

Aim This paper will firstly, discuss the development of partnership working between a statutory sector specialist palliative care team (SPCT) and independent sector Hospice to deliver 7 day access to specialist palliative care assessment and intervention, across all healthcare settings; secondly, it will discuss the benefits for patients, families, services, the wider health community and economy.

Method The SPCT Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) base their service from the Hospice at weekends and Bank Holidays, where out of hour's advice calls from primary and secondary care have historically been received. This decision was made to support safe lone working, governance, access to medical and hospice support for CNS's, and streamline access to the service.

Results Evaluation of this initiative provides evidence of:

  • Closer integration and team working

  • Rapid access to specialist palliative care, across primary and secondary care, improving outcomes and experiences for patients and their families, and increasing quality and standards of care

  • Access to hospice inpatient admission for patients requiring urgent transfer into a specialist palliative care bed, at weekends and Bank Holidays

  • Prevention of unscheduled acute hospital admissions

  • Support for providers of general palliative care, throughout primary and secondary care.

Conclusion Partnership working between the SPCT and Hospice has enabled an innovative approach to the delivery of 7 day working that benefits patients, their families, and service providers.

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