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Poster Number 142 – 184 – Pain & symptom management: Poster No: 154
Fulfilling a vision – a new model for therapy services at a hospice in west Sussex
  1. Barbara Biggerstaff
  1. St Catherines Hospice, Crawley, West Sussex, England


Background Palliative rehabilitation encompasses a number of therapeutic interventions that help patients adapt to the functional changes imposed by their illness with an aim at improving quality of life. The provision of therapy services has long been seen as an essential part of holistic hospice care. This abstract lends further support to this view by highlighting an innovation in the delivery of therapy services undertaken by a hospice in West Sussex. The hospice's overarching vision was to provide all patients under its care with the opportunity to receive a specialist, responsive and equitable occupational therapy and physiotherapy service. Prompted by an extensive service expansion and a paucity of qualified therapists in post, the hospice embraced a different model to help achieve this.

Aims Key aims of the new model were: (1) formulation of a separate therapy team with a team leader at the helm to develop and run this new service (2) promotion of close partnership working with generalist community therapy teams with a focus on education (3) development of an outpatient service across both hospices sites including creative use of self-help groups (4) collaborative working with primary care, demonstrated in the running of a Breathe Easy clinic outreached to a local GP practice.

Conclusion Team members were recruited and a time line for service activity was drawn. Clear therapy pathways, including criteria for referral and evaluation were also compiled for inpatient, day hospice and community services. Challenges were ensuring that only those patients with specialist therapy needs accessed the service and with referrers embracing the benefits of patients being seen as an outpatient as opposed to home. This evolving service has proved to be very popular and in the future it will need to be responsive to anticipated changes initiated by GP commissioning and increasing patient need.

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