Background Traditionally, hospice day services have been nurse-led, and follow a medical model of support. After pausing services due to the pandemic, the hospice reviewed how this provision was offered. As a result, in October 2022 we developed a ‘new’ wellbeing service, led by Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy (OT/PT); supported by the Therapeutic and Wellbeing team.
Aims To provide a wellbeing service which reflects the individual needs of patient, carers and families; using a therapy-led, multidisciplinary approach. To provide a flexible, adaptive programme that meets the needs of service users.
Method The hospice’s ‘Living Well Programme’ accepted referrals for adults with a palliative diagnosis. All patients received an initial holistic assessment carried out by an OT/PT. During this assessment, the patient was invited to talk about activities that would be most meaningful to them and sessions/services were recommended to work towards these goals. Weekly reviews were completed with the patient, and a solution-focused holistic review completed at 6–8 weeks. A range of sessions were offered, reflecting the needs of the service users.
Results To date, the Living Well Programme has supported 70 patients and their families. Service users have a single point of contact in accessing support through the programme, using a ‘one team’ approach. Patients have reported improved physical ability, reduced anxiety, and improved overall wellbeing.
“Knowing why I’m doing what I’m doing is invaluable” (Patient A).
“Being able to talk about me, as a person, reminds me that I’m more than a ‘cancer’ patient” (Patient B).
Summary This work demonstrates how the use of a therapy-led holistic assessment can bring a different perspective to the provision of wellbeing services. Shifting the focus away from the condition itself, towards the impact of meaningful activities that reflect the patient‘s values and priorities, has proved to be an effective way of providing flexible, individualised support.
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