More patients to die at home under new end of life service launched in Richmondshire

A new end of life service is being launched in Richmondshre which should mean more terminally ill people can have their wish to die at home.

As of 3 April 2017 a new service will launch thanks to a partnership between NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (the CCG), Herriot Hospice Homecare, St Teresa’s Hospice, terminal illness charity, Marie Curie, and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

End of life care across Hambleton and Richmondshire was previously provided under a service called ‘Fast Track’.

The purpose of Fast Track Continuing Healthcare Funding was to pay for local private care agencies to provide care at home.

Under this new scheme, patients will receive day time care at home, overnight care, additional equipment at home and supported admission into end of life care in a step-up/step down bed.

 

Gill Collinson, chief nurse of the CCG, said: “Safe and dignified end of life care is of ever-increasing importance for our population. Under the previous scheme, patients who wanted to die at home or close to home were not always able to do so.

“This is why we’ve been working very closely with our partners to develop a brand new end of life service for the Hambleton and Richmondshire area. It can be a difficult subject for patients and families to come to terms with, but it’s so important to get right.

“We hope this new service will result in reduced hospital admissions, improved delays in discharge from hospital in the last days of life and more support for families.”

Christine Ward, nurse consultant for adult palliative care from South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We hope this new service will streamline access to care making it easier for our community nursing teams to access appropriate and timely support to meet their patients’ needs, which will ultimately enable more patients to die at home.

“Eligible patients are those who are assessed to be in the last few weeks of life, or whose condition is rapidly deteriorating. They must be under the care of a GP in Hambleton and Richmondshire.”

Chief executive of Herriot Hospice Homecare, Tony Collins, said: “As a local hospice care charity in Hambleton and Richmondshire, Herriot Hospice Homecare is committed to exploring collaborative approaches to care to ensure people local get the right support, at the right time, in the right setting.

“This new partnership aims to deliver a service which is more responsive to the needs of our community, with Herriot recommencing the high-quality, personalised end of life care we are so well recognised for locally.”

Jane Bradshaw, chief executive of St Teresa’s Hospice said: “St Teresa’s Hospice is delighted to be part of this important collaboration which will directly improve patient care with a quick response.

“Community hospices in partnership will provide care to help people to stay in their own homes and therefore avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

“It is so important to listen to and respond to needs, and I am sure that the development of this partnership will be a shining example of what can be achieved when organisations cooperate to improve outcomes for our patients.”

Patients can be referred to the new service from 3 April 2017 by calling the end of life coordinator Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm on 01609 767521 (or 07733 014385 for out of hours).

Staff will need to note some patient information before making the referral.