Following national guidance (NICE 2014) the need for seven-day specialist palliative care at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals has been a longstanding aim of the Fylde Coast Strategy (2016-2021). The COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted this gap, alongside the need for a structured bereavement service. The need for significant bereavement support for staff as well as families became clear early on in the pandemic.
As a direct response to the pandemic, a collaborative approach with Fylde Coast partners including Trinity Hospice and Macmillan enabled the provision of a period of seven-day, face-to-face specialist palliative care in the acute trust alongside a bereavement service for patients, families and staff, providing immediate support and after-care.
The changes made during the pandemic reinforced the need for a permanent bereavement service and seven-day specialist palliative care input in the acute trust. Data collected from the pandemic resulted in the successful submission of business cases to allow for this.
A divisional restructure has aligned all three teams (palliative care, Swan* and bereavement and chaplaincy) so that we can continue to provide a collaborative approach to end-of-life care, education and training across the trust.
* The Swan Team offer support to provide the highest quality end-of-life and bereavement care.
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