Introduction Marie Curie Hospice Cardiff and Vale runs a 24 hour specialist palliative care telephone advice line for patients, relatives and healthcare professionals covering the whole of South East Wales. It supports the fully established 7/7 Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) palliative care service across Wales. This is managed by staff nurses on the inpatient unit, coordinating with the relevant hospital or community CNS to provide ongoing support and follow up, with medical advice provided by the on call palliative medicine consultant.
Method A retrospective review of 12 months advice calls April 2015–16.
Results A total of 521 calls were recorded with an average of 43.4 calls per month. Only 135 of these were from patients previously known to Marie Curie. 35.6% of calls were from relatives, 5% from patients, 10.9% from ward nurses, 4% from DNs, 14% from GPs, 14.8% from hospital doctors, and 13.1% from clinical nurse specialists. The majority of patients were based in the community setting (66%) compared to inpatient (30%). Most popular type of advice required was symptom control, other types included psychological support, practical advice and medication queries. The calls were average length of 9.53 minutes (79.1 hours in 12 months), with the majority of calls falling over the weekend period.
Conclusion This review demonstrates that Marie Curie Hospice Cardiff and the Vale is working collaboratively with other organisations in the area to extend support and advice to patients, relatives and healthcare professionals beyond its usual patient population 24/7.
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