Hospice UK identified in 2017 as a key strategic aim, the need to open up hospice care so that it could be delivered in any setting. A collaborative approach with local GP surgeries has identified the need to revisit how we undertake GSF meetings. These can often be poorly attended and involve increased travel time for participants resulting in reduced patient visits and a poorly represented GSF.
To overcome this St Giles Hospice and GPs within the Tamworth and Lichfield locality are trialling videoconferencing to liaise with GP Practices for GSF meetings thereby avoiding the long commute to different GPs by Clinical Nurses who are now freed up to see more patients or attend more meetings within the same time frame.
Freeing up travelling and parking time means GSF meetings can be held more often and at quick notice. Also palliative care consultant input can be provided if needed to the GSF meeting resulting in a tiered approach to specialist palliative care and enabling advice and support more efficiently and effectively. With time this can be expanded to include other members of the multi-disciplinary team such as district nurses, allied health professionals, social services and patients.
The first meeting was conducted on 27/03/2019 between Trinity Surgery and St Giles Hospice. This saved more than one hour of travelling and parking time for the clinical nurse specialists. There are 15 practices within the Tamworth and Lichfield area alone. This equates to 60 GSF meetings a year between St Giles Hospice and GP practices. Undertaking GSF meetings in this way could save more than a week of the nurses’ time each year increasing the number of patients that can be supported and resulting in better attendance and representation at the GSF meetings by all involved.
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