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The responsive needs tool – unlocking communication of end of life care needs
  1. Bronia Johnson1,
  2. Barbara Ball2 and
  3. Jane Bake1
  1. 1St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice, Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  2. 2Marie Curie Cancer Care, lincoln, Lincolnshire


Introduction The Lincolnshire Home Deaths Project Group brought together organisations from across the county to develop new ways of working that were patient focused and to ensure that end of life services dovetailed. This included a night care pilot which identified the need for an assessment and communication tool endorsed by the health and social care community to enable the needs led prioritisation of resource in end of life care.

Aims To enable clear, accurate and effective communication of need across organisations to support the allocation and re-allocation of available night care resources for patients at the end of life based on their clinical need.

Method The ‘responsive need’ tool was devised by members of the group using the work of two organisations, St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice and Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Gold Standards Framework prognostic indicators as a resource.


  • The tool has become the common ‘currency’ of Communication County wide and is incorporated into SystmOne palliative care template.

  • It has enabled the provision of End of life care according to need, and stopped unmet need for complex patients in the pilot area.

  • Given clinicians confidence that the care will be there when the patient needs it; releasing care and supporting new ways of working.

Discussion This tool has given us a shared language and supported the clinician in their decision making. It has enabled us to achieve the aim of allocating care on the basis of need and urgency.

Conclusion The responsive needs tool has supported choice at end of life for patients and would be of interest to both those commissioning and providing end of life care.

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