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P-56 Community response during the COVID-19 pandemic
  1. Gemma Allen and
  2. Claire Towns
  1. The Mary Stevens Hospice, Stourbridge, UK


Background The Advice Hub launched on 15 April 2020 as an immediate community response during COVID-19, increasing capacity and providing community support. The aim was to build community capability and establish an Advice Hub for people with palliative care needs, care homes, health care professionals and members of the public.

Methods Emergency response funding was received from commissioners. The hospice converted a building into an Advice Hub with equipment, resources, and a wobble room, with staff available seven days a week providing advice and support. An online platform was developed with downloadable resources and information including:

  • Advice Hub information.

  • Caring for someone dying at home - advice for carers.

  • Bereavement.

  • Information for health care professionals.

  • Advance care planning.

  • Guidance for care homes.

  • Palliative care for people with intellectual disabilities and COVID-19 information.

  • Death and dying.

  • Community support.

  • Supporting someone living with dementia.

Results Initial evaluations indicated contact from care homes (51%), carers (26%), members of the public (18%) and health care professionals (5%). Data demonstrated contact related to practical advice (47%), symptom control (18%), signposting (14%) bereavement (9%), crisis intervention (4%), advance care planning (4%), and other (4%). 13% of people received follow up contact. 34% of website users accessed the online resource. Between April and June 2020 the Advice Hub provided 440 hours of telephone support, with five admissions to the hospice.

Conclusion With an aging population and more people living with long term health conditions and co-morbidities, people requiring support during COVID-19 has increased. With calls from friends, neighbours, and family members it confirms that end of life care is everyone’s business, with each community prepared to help (National Palliative and End of Life Care Partnership, 2021).

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