Background Prior to COVID-19, St Christopher’s Hospice operated under a hospice day care model. The need to develop a therapeutic approach for individuals with Progressive Neurological Conditions (PNCs) became evident based on feedback from day centre visitors. A number of individuals with PNCs attended the centre on a regular basis and had multiple referrals within the hospice. These individuals could not traditionally be discharged from the hospice and expressed the lack of peer support and isolation within the community.
Aims Provide a therapeutic programme with peer support. Focus on the individual, rather than condition. Empower and enable individuals and carers to live fully. Facilitate discussions between ‘patient’ and ‘carer’, exploring roles and identities.
Methods During lockdown, a programme was developed by the MDT offering all therapeutic services the hospice has to offer. This was conducted via Zoom, offering professional therapeutic intervention, combined with social activities. The last session of the programme ended with feedback and discussion to enable the future development of the programme.
Results Patient and carer feedback was collated using satisfaction surveys. Feedback highlighted the lack of psychosocial support in community. For participants with communication issues, the Zoom format did not work. Participants reported that hour long sessions with SaLT, dietetics, physiotherapy was not necessary as they had access to these services in the community; what was beneficial was therapeutic services such as art and music therapy, complementary therapy and psychosocial services.
Conclusions As a result of feedback provided, the programme was adapted, adopting a holistic approach. A five-week face-to-face programme was developed with a focus on providing psychosocial and spiritual intervention, peer group support and familiarising the patient group with hospice care. This was in line with the hospice-wide approach, shifting to a rehabilitative palliative care model with focussed therapeutic intervention and individualised goal setting. Feedback continues to be collected to evolve the programme.
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