End of life care aims to support people, their families and carers in the later stages of their life. Making sure the right care is available both in the lead up to death and afterwards for patients, family and carers makes a huge difference to all those affected at such an upsetting time.
In Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR), a new approach to care for the people at the end of their life, brings together the expertise of the local NHS, local authorities, Marie Curie and LOROS to provide a more joined - up, personalised service which puts the needs of patient, family and carers right at the centre of this care.
Last year, the End of Life workstream for Better Care Together reviewed how we provided end of life and palliative care services for our patients in LLR. An essential part of this was to ensure we took into account the preferences of patients, their families and carers from national research and local insights to create a shared vision across the three CCGs in LLR, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT), University Hospitals Leicester, the three local authorities and the voluntary sector.
The vision is now becoming reality as we develop an Integrated Community Palliative Care service that is patient centred and designed to respond quickly to their needs.
The newly integrated service is made up of colleagues from existing services; LPT, LOROS and Marie Curie who provide a coordinated palliative care service, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, based on need. Clinicians, patients and carers can now access palliative care input for referrals and for general enquiries using one telephone number, rather than having a different number for each organisation.
The service will provide rapid response to support patients who can be quickly discharged from hospital as well as support those who need urgent care in the community to allow them to end their life in the place of their choice. GPs will have increased access to Marie Curie and LOROS Palliative Care Nurse specialists in the community.
West Leicestershire CCG, Chief Nurse and Quality Lead ,Caroline Trevithick said: “The provision of palliative and end of life care for our patients represents one of the most challenging areas of clinical practice; however, it is also one of the most rewarding when we get it right. “No two patients are the same, and we aim to tailor the service as much as possible and be sensitive to individual needs, in particular helping them to receive palliative care in the surroundings they choose. “We will be able to offer an improved Hospice at Home service which will facilitate discharging patients quickly from hospital to their preferred place of death. “We will also offer the Marie Curie Night Sitting Service which provides home visits and overnight support to patients in their own homes.
“Together, all these services offer an integrated package that we can tailor to meet the needs of local people.”
LOROS, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Dr Cassy Rowe-Haynes said: “We welcome an integrated palliative care service that responds to patient’s needs in a timely fashion. With LOROS integrated within the team we can provide when appropriate, short-stay specialist inpatient palliative care to help manage patient’s complex symptoms. In addition, we can offer ongoing specialist clinical nursing advice at home, palliative day therapy, lymphoedema management and counselling and psychological support. Combining the expertise and facilities of all the partners, aims to support patients in the way that best suits them and their family out in the community and this is an exciting time for community palliative care service development in LLR.”
One of the workshops at our Conference, Exhibition and AGM on 11 September will focus on the improvements being made to end of life services locally. If you would like to find out more, please visit: www.westleicestershireccg.nhs.uk/agm2017