In November 2017, following a successful application to St James’s Place Charitable Foundation for funding, Nightingale House Hospice in partnership with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, commenced an 18 month project to integrate heart failure patients within the specialist palliative care services at the hospice.
The service had six core aims:
To establish a heart failure clinic at the hospice;
To develop a heart failure monthly meeting focusing on reablement and including planned sessions on fatigue management, breathlessness management etc;
To develop a new service planning focus group of heart failure patients and carers co-designing and co-producing future services to meet their identified needs;
To support the heart failure team to develop and run a heart failure multi-disciplinary team meeting in partnership with palliative care colleagues;
To further develop peer learning between heart failure specialist and specialist palliative care teams;
To establish a conversational training programme for primary and secondary health care colleagues focusing on advance care planning and prognostication in heart failure.
The project achieved five of our six objectives during the 18 month period. In addition it produced resources as a legacy to the project including patient designed leaflets for individuals being referred to the hospice, patient designed leaflets for their family and carers about allowing them to try things independently even if it takes longer to complete a task and a DVD on mastering breathlessness.
Both quantitative and qualitative data demonstrated positive outcomes, which have resulted in substantive funding from the hospice to continue the service.
The project team were invited to present the work orally at the 9th Annual Heart Failure Conference in Glasgow in March 2019, generating national interest in this partnership working.
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