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P-25 Embedding a rehabilitative approach in care homes to support and enable residents following the COVID-19 pandemic
  1. Carmel McCann,
  2. Fernanda Patrocinio and
  3. Frances Cane
  1. St Christopher’s, London, UK


This project was designed to inspire and encourage a rehabilitative palliative care (RPC) approach in care homes following the pandemic. Following funding from the local CCG an Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist and Rehab. Assistant were seconded from the hospice rehabilitation team.

Aims of the project

  • Train and support staff in understanding the ethos of RPC and how it can benefit individuals and those caring for them.

  • Provide a short, targeted intervention to residents to achieve an identified patient-centred goal.

  • Support staff to provide and embed a person-centred rehabilitative approach optimising choice, independence, autonomy and dignity.

  • Supporting a person-centred approach to encompass psychological, emotional and spiritual needs.

  • Support staff to ensure new ways of working are sustainable.

Aims of the projectEight care homes (residential and nursing, totalling 370 residents and 390 staff) were identified as having experienced negative effects from either contraction of COVID-19 or the adverse impact of COVID-19 restrictions. Key performance indicators were agreed with the CCG to measure the success of the project.

The successes

  • A large number of staff received training in RPC, increasing understanding of the importance of promoting activity through exercise and functional activity and the need to engage residents in conversations about goals and preferences.

  • Care staff were given tools to initiate a regular seated exercise group.

  • Provision of targeted input to some residents which showed improved elements of function, mood and quality of life (this was evidenced by verbal feedback).

  • Raised the profile of St Christopher’s’ rehabilitation service and built relationships with local care homes.

  • Enhanced understanding of the experience of living in care home settings for residents and care staff.

The successesOn conclusion of the project, a resource was developed with the focus on Rehabilitation in Care Homes – for staff, families and residents allowing further opportunity for enabling and embedding a rehabilitative palliative care approach.

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