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P126 Respite Care Reframed - A Palliative Care Service For The Future
  1. Diane Laverty
  1. St Joseph’s Hospice, London, United Kingdom


Respite care is currently disregarded as an essential component of palliative care despite interest on the part of Government and others to support home based end of life care and to increase access for people with chronic degenerative conditions.

During the last 2 years an East London hospice has delivered an updated model of respite care that recognises and responds to new emerging groups of users and seeks to enable more people to remain at home during their illness.

A new, nurse led service, headed by a nurse consultant, has been established which delivers planned respite care. The service proactively seeks to support people with non malignant conditions including young adults undergoing transition from children to adult services.

This shift results in time being given to a multi professional review of the patient and carer’s needs as a basis for establishing an updated care plan, designed to enrich the patient’s life and maintain their function and wellbeing. Access to other hospice services is also made available. It is particularly effective when the patient is admitted in a relatively stable state and can consider / negotiate different approaches to care in a safe environment. Seven beds are now open to provide this care. Development of this new model has required a different culture of care, development of staff skills and new working relationships within and outwith the hospice.

The service has been well used (average occupancy 80%). Review of activity data reveals a higher than average use of these beds by people with non cancer conditions (47%) and increasing utilization of young people undergoing transition (12 episodes). User satisfaction is high and the impact of care, measured through SKIPP is positive. Carer feedback, via focus groups indicates that the service is a vital one & suggestions about improvements will help inform service development plans.

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