Background and Context In response to national Peer Review Standards and NICE Guidance to offer 7 day face to face visiting an opportunity to pilot a service within a hospice based Community Specialist Palliative Care Nursing Team arose. Within this the development in order to be more responsive a Rapid Response service has been developed.
Aim To widen access for patients with specialist palliative care needs to holistic assessment by a Clinical Nurse Specialist and offer greater flexibility in options for home assessments. To offer an urgent response based on clinical need 7 days a week, for crisis intervention. To assess need for urgent admission to an inpatient unit bed or facilitate the patient remaining in their own home if desired.
Approach Used A review of caseload configuration across the city with the development of 4 zone teams. A significant investment in resources to support an additional 3 WTE Band 6 Associate Community Specialist Palliative Care Nurses was agreed for a temporary period of 6 months, with successful recruitment to the posts.
All referrals to the hospice service are reviewed through a multi professional meeting and triaged according to urgency and priority, with the capacity for immediate home assessment, 7 days a week and greater flexibility for managing routine and follow up reviews.
Outcomes Measures will be determined through review and analysis of all Rapid Response visits to determine whether patient preference over place of care has been met.
External stakeholders opinion regarding perceived satisfaction with 7/7 access and rapid response in the management of community patients.
Cost- benefit analysis of investment of resources on improved caseload management to inform strategic service development.