In less than three months, from point of concept to operational delivery, St Michael’s Hospice and Marie Curie, with funding from Herefordshire CCG, have launched a new service that will transform the way palliative and end-of-life care is delivered locally.
The new Herefordshire Hospice at Home service demonstrates what can be achieved when a UK-wide charity and local hospice come together to respond to local demand for new or increased support for people in the last few months and weeks of life, and their families.
The service, co-ordinated by St Michael’s Hospice, delivers planned and urgent care 24/7, in people’s usual places of residence. It supports discharge from hospital and admission avoidance, and enables more people to die in their preferred place of care.
The challenges of changing demographics and health and care profiles of residents presented a real opportunity to extend the level and accessibility of services provided, and improve care co-ordination.
Playing to each organisation’s strength and acknowledging the differences has led to a truly open partnership. Cross-organisational collaboration, effective resource allocation, recruiting new staff and early engagement with local leaders and professionals have been vital to its early success.
With the support of the St Michael’s Hospice hub, the partnership has created the impetus to improve integrated joint working and shared care across acute and community teams, ensuring that each person receives the care they need.
Supporting local professionals’ play their part in good end-of-life care is also an important element. Providing access to reactive face to face visits and telephone support 24/7 means that professionals and the people they care for get the urgent support they need at any time of day or night.
Early data shows preferred place of death has been achieved in all patients and hospital admission avoided.
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