Background The Live Well Partnership Coordinator (Band 4 Role) is an innovative and collaborative post. Run in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and the Royal United Hospital Bath, it brings together three organisations to identify and provide support and guidance to patients who are newly diagnosed with a metastatic condition or reoccurrence of their primary cancer. The post is based on the principles of supporting patients and families who are newly diagnosed with a metastatic illness and are ‘living well’.
Previously the feedback demonstrated that this group of patients would have been seen by the acute teams for treatment and then sent home under the care of their GP. Feedback gained highlighted that patients and their families rarely sought support for anything related to their ability to live well and therefore any life enhancing and supportive services were not picked up until the problem became a crisis or the patient’s condition deteriorated and they were referred to targeted palliative and hospice care.
Method and results Since the post started in May 2018 we have engaged in opportunities to highlight the importance of palliative care and how it can enhance and support life and not just support dying. Through working with; specialist nurses, palliative care teams, Emergency Department and medical teams we have been able to break down misconceptions about the role of hospice care and promote to professionals and patients the benefits of early engagement with hospice services, including:
Information about planning ahead and advance care planning;
Emotional support – re difficult conversations;
Link with Dorothy House Community Services, e.g. Nurse led clinic, Coffee Club, COPE (Self–management course), carers support and young person’s support;
Link with voluntary services in local communities – e.g. Age UK, Macmillan Cancer Information.
Conclusion Consideration of role to support Primary Carer Networks and facilitate earlier discussions for people affected by a life limiting diagnosis.
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