Background Due to the COVID-19 pandemic our hospice day services closed, and we looked at how we could continue to support patients with a flexible blended approach. A person-centred programme was developed for patients living with a life-limiting illness by an integrated team. The programme is adaptable whereby it could be delivered over the telephone, virtually or face-to-face. This approach enabled support for patients in the context of the pandemic and continues to develop.
Aim The SPRING (Supporting the Person, Relating Information with New skills, and Guidance) pilot aims to support and inform, set person-centred goals, and promote wellbeing. Delivery is over twelve weekly sessions that can be easily adapted offering personalisation and autonomy for the patient.
Method The pilot was conducted with a small cohort over three months from November 2020 - February 2021. The Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (Tennant, Hiller, Fishwick et al., 2007. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 5: 630) was measured pre- and post- programme. An evaluation was also completed by each patient at the end of their programme.
Results The evaluation results demonstrated enablement and motivation for those who participated in the pilot. 90 sessions were delivered in total. 80% of those were virtual due to the COVID-19 restrictions which mirrors other practice at that time (Dunleavy, Preston, Bajwah, et al., 2021. Palliat Med. 35: 814). 67% of patients displayed an improvement in mental wellbeing at the end of the programme. The evaluation concluded 76% had learned something new in each of the delivered sessions.
Conclusions The pilot was a success in enabling and supporting patients with a life-limiting diagnosis, based on the evaluation and mental wellbeing score improvements. This flexible, blended programme is now established as part of our ongoing services. It has enabled the hospice to continue its support of those who would have accessed our day services previously, with a patient-centred approach.
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