Background The Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care national framework (National Palliative and End of Life Care Partnership, 2021) highlights the positive impact of early access to palliative care following research by Temel et al (N Engl J Med. 2010;363:733–42). It recognises the impact on symptoms of ‘social or spiritual distress’. Shared experiences are important for patients with advanced cancer creating a sense of ‘understanding, normalcy and encouragement’ (Rukowski, Lebel, Richardson, et al. Curr Oncol. 2018; 25(6):358–365). Service evaluation shows 43% of patients value the social aspect of our current service.
Aims To open a Wellbeing Café to broaden the reach of our service in line with our hospice clinical strategy. To increase collaborative working within our hospice and health economy. To enable self-referral to our hospice thus reducing barriers to accessing services. To offer patients further choice about how they access hospice services. To provide a softer approach to hospice care.
Methods October – December 2022. Initial planning, literature review, evaluation of current service provision, service model planning. January – March 2023. Visit to other hospice to observe their model of working, recruitment of volunteers, completion of concept paper and presentation to Senior Management for approval. April 2023 onward. First Wellbeing Café opened. Ongoing evaluation of service impact via electronic patient record monitoring, number of repeat visitors, qualitative user feedback via ‘Share your Experience’ cards.
Results Six Wellbeing Cafés have taken place to date. Attendance: 30 individuals. Multiple attendances: 12 individuals. 57 referrals generated to other hospice services, i.e. symptom management courses, family support, Hospice@Home, therapeutic programme. Eleven individuals self-referring to hospice services.
User feedback “This service has meant meeting other people in the same situation as myself and making new friends”; “It has given us some information and an opening for getting further support.”; “An excellent opportunity to meet a nurse and discuss in detail various options for the future.”
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