St Clare launches ‘Hospice at Home’

13:36 20 January 2014

St Clare Hospice Director of Patient Care, Louise Cameron (front row centre), with the Hospice at Home team.

St Clare Hospice Director of Patient Care, Louise Cameron (front row centre), with the Hospice at Home team.

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More people than ever before will benefit from St Clare Hospice’s expert care in their own homes following the launch today (Monday, January 20) of the Hospice at Home service.

The expanded seven-day-a-week community service is the first of its kind in west Essex, delivering care directly to those who wish to be looked after and die at home.

With demand for services expected to increase in the coming years, the need for efficient and effective community services has never been greater. Hospice at Home will transform the way the organisation is able to provide end-of-life care to people with life-limiting illnesses, providing them with hands-on support in their final weeks or during times of crisis.

The service has been funded through a grant from West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, the organisation that plans and buys healthcare for the people of west Essex.

The hospice’s Director of Patient Care, Louise Cameron, said: “We know that many people would prefer to be cared for at home during the last few weeks of their lives, but in the past that has not always been possible due to a lack of resources.

“Hospice at Home aims to fill that gap by supporting people to stay at home if they wish and is set to make a huge difference to our patients and their families by helping avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and out-of-hour crisis calls, enabling them to spend their last days at home even when their symptoms are difficult to manage.”

Hospice at Home will operate from 8am to 8pm seven days a week, including Bank Holidays, and is available to anyone aged over 18 with a life-limiting condition who is registered with a west Essex GP.

The team of specialist palliative care nurses will assess and initiate treatment, provide specialist advice and support to patients and their families/carers and give guidance to other healthcare colleagues, such as GPs and district nurses.

Specially trained health care assistants will visit patients at home to provide hands-on nursing care tailored to their individual needs. They will support patients with all aspects of personal care to ensure people remain comfortable and cared for at home.

The number of home visits will vary from patient to patient depending on the level of support required, but patients will be visited at least once a day and up to three times if necessary.

At the same time, St Clare is launching the St Clare Community Friends, a volunteer-led befriending service to offer support, friendship and practical help, whether it is collecting a prescription or taking the dog for a walk.

St Clare chief executive Tanya Curry said: “We are committed to providing excellent specialist palliative care to local people and the expansion of our community service is something we have wanted to do for many years, so we are delighted to be launching it today.

“We know Hospice at Home is going to make a really positive difference to the lives of those we care for, ensuring more people can access the best care possible which meets their needs and ultimately supports individual choice.”

For more information, call the Hospice at Home team on 01279 773716.

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