Palliative care is founded on enabling people to live well until they die, whatever that might look like for them. Rehabilitative Palliative Care (RPC) seeks to do this, ensuring the individual is at the centre, shifting the balance of intervention away from the medical model of care. It is important to question whether we are doing enough to empower people to make the best choices about how they want to live their lives, prioritise what is important to them and to seek help and support from the beginning of their relationship with the hospice. In response to this, St Christopher’s hospice has set up wellbeing days for all individuals referred.
The intended outcomes of the day are to empower people to be able to make some positive changes to improve their wellbeing and for them to have a greater understanding of the support and services available so that they can engage with the hospice when needed, thus moving towards a more holistic approach to patient management.
People are proactively offered this opportunity to attend once they have been accepted onto the hospice caseload. Phone calls, rather than a letter, enable a discussion around the programme and support to be offered. Volunteers are trained to support the staff in making these calls. Topics include: exercise and staying independent, healthy nutrition, advance care planning, coping with change, welfare entitlement, and connecting with the community. For many people who attend it is the first time they come to the hospice which helps facilitate the breaking down of barriers and building relationships.
The day has been well received and there has been positive feedback collected from questionnaires and follow up phone discussions. Further development of the programme will offer training to volunteers, enabling more individualised support and advice to those who feel unable to attend the day at the initial phone call.
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