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P-86 Living well and palliative care in the virtual Covid-19 world: A new way of working
  1. Clare Gallie and
  2. Amanda Harris
  1. Lewis-Manning Hospice Care, Poole, UK


Background Living with a life-limiting illness is very isolating; COVID-19 led to patients shielding and increased loneliness. Patients longed to see our nurses’ faces and their friends from day hospice. At Lewis-Manning Hospice Care we developed a virtual day hospice service to improve patient communication.

Aim To develop a virtual service that gave patients the tools and services to ‘see’ our team, receive clinical and emotional support, and access a range of activities from the safety of their homes.


  • Patient-led service design based on feedback from patients about their needs

    • Consulted 50 patients about their needs and the impact of COVID-19

    • Collated their views on potential virtual day hospice services.

  • Service research

    • Networked with ‘virtual’ service providers sharing ideas and best practice.

  • Technology

    • Spoke with other hospices using iPads for symptom control

    • Piloted patient video calls and a virtual art group

    • Invested in hand-held tablet devices with direct connection to the hospice with a mixture of SIM and WiFi enabled connectivity

    • Trained staff/volunteers on how to use tablets, cascaded training to patients

    • Delivered devices into patient homes.

  • Ongoing developments

    • Introduced exercise and mindfulness sessions.

Results Our virtual service succeeded in:

  • Improving our patients’ wellbeing, mobility, and reducing pain.

  • Reducing isolation, loneliness, anxiety, and distress.

  • Supporting carers’ wellbeing.

  • Improving patients‘ ability to stay independent at home.

  • Upskilling patients’ technological know-how.

When surveyed:

  • 96% enjoyed the service and found it of benefit

  • 96% wanted virtual services to be part of their care going forwards

  • Benefit longer-term if patients are too unwell to attend.

Conclusion Evaluation of Lewis-Manning Hospice Care virtual day hospice shows a positive contribution to the wellbeing of our patients, supporting communication, reducing isolation and allowing patients to learn new skills. Providing equipment and supported use of technology via volunteers into patients’ homes has increased inclusivity for previously hard-to-reach groups.

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