The St Luke’s Hospice Information Resource Service (IRS) has provided in-reach information provision to the outpatients department of Basildon hospital since 2009. Latterly, the team have provided 7 dedicated sessions per week within the hospital including weekly visits to wards and outpatients areas. Sessions are provided by paid Hospice IRS staff or trained volunteers. This input forms part of a partnership approach around information provision.
People needing advice, information and support accessing the IRS staff often present with one enquiry, but through discussion and information needs assessment, other issues are often highlighted and addressed, thereby offering a holistic therapeutic intervention. Carer’s needs are determined using a Carers Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT).
Previous audit findings have identified the number of issues presented, the most common themes, resulting actions and range of referrals made.
The diversity of issues presented reflect that people at all stages of the cancer pathway are accessing support from IRS staff/volunteers, from diagnosis to survivorship/end of life care and into bereavement.
The IRS is an effective hub for signposting and referral to other services for patients/carers to meet their holistic needs.
This model of partnership to provide information within a hospital setting, presents clear benefits to the Hospice including:
Earlier contact with Hospice services for patients and carers including those requiring Health Promotion advice.
Dispelling the myth that Hospices only focus on end of life care and that they can offer a range of therapeutic and support interventions from early diagnosis of life challenging illness
Stronger collaborative working with Hospital staff e.g. Hospital site specific CNS’s and Consultants
Consistent access to the Supportive Care offer including therapeutic groups based within the Information Resource Service such as HOPE programme, Writing for Therapy.
Onward referrals to a diverse range of Hospice services including Counselling, Complementary therapy, Social Work.
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