Recently the organisation has been looking at how to improve support for our patients and their families in the community. Our already well established Hospice at Home service offers personal care, respite support and night sits for patients in their last few weeks of life. However, the organisation recognised that there was still more needed to enable families and patients to feel supported at home. After speaking to families, patients and community healthcare professionals, including GPs and District Nurses, the organisation identified a gap in service provision for respite care. Consequently, in January this year we launched our new respite service.
The aim of this new service is to provide support to patients and carers in the last 12 months of life by providing respite care within the home setting. The service aims to support family members caring for relatives with a life limiting illness which can result in physical and emotional problems directly related to the stress and demands of daily care. By offering much needed respite the aim is that this will enable patients to remain at home longer and avoid unwanted admissions to other health care settings.
Everyone needs some time for themselves, even more so when they care for someone else. Respite has traditionally been offered as residential, however by offering respite care in the home this causes minimal disruption to the patient and provides the carer with a much needed break. The service aims to be as flexible as possible offering visits during the morning, afternoon or early evening, seven days per week. This gives carers the opportunity to attend appointments, have a much needed rest, or time out to enjoy social activities.
We continually evaluate the service by gathering feedback from our service user surveys. The feedback we have received has been extremely positive and reflects how much this service is needed.