Palliative Care in Partnership (PCIP) has recently celebrated its first year of providing end of life care to people who want to spend their last days and weeks at home. The service is run by an innovative partnership between the voluntary sector and the NHS where each organisation within the partnership brings different areas of expertise. The three organisations involved are the End of Life Partnership, Central Cheshire Integrated Care Partnership and St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice.
Recent feedback from a district nursing colleague has highlighted some of the benefits that the service offers to patients, families and staff who are supporting people at the end of life.
We would like to take the opportunity to share some of her comments with you, as these reinforce our commitment to providing high quality care, with a well-supported, competent and confident workforce and we look forward to developing the service further, expanding it to reach different groups of patients and to offering a wider range of support in the future.
District Nurse – Comments about the PCIP service
My first point of note is the speed and efficiency with which care has been made available; often on the day of request. In my experience, and certainly in the case of my two most recent referrals, patients don’t really want to accept that they need extra support. Once they agree, it is important that we can fulfil our agreement as soon as possible. It is also vital in cases of sudden crisis. I asked the coordinator how I can arrange to increase a care package and I was advised I can call to request it at any time and, subject to availability, it will be put in place.
The co-coordinator has been very helpful whenever I phone to discuss my requirements and can tell me without delay the care times available. I have then been asked to discuss patient / carer preference and choose a visit time. Communication has been excellent.
Continuity of Care
One of my patients was admitted to hospital and the coordinator kept her care package open, liaising with the ward herself and was able to reinstate the care on discharge. This meant a seamless discharge without delay for the patient / family, and as an add-on, no bed blocking! The GNAs are highly trained in palliative care and it’s a much better experience than needing to change over to another agency as would have happened previously.
The use of EMIS by your team is enormously helpful to the Care Community Hub to keep us updated on the care of our patients between our visits and has allowed me to plan when patients are discharged home after a time in hospital.
Professional, Patient and Carer Experience
I can access an increase in care without needing to provide “evidence of decline”. Often it is not possible to demonstrate the patient’s declining condition as they may already have been in the poorest of health for some time, but more support is needed because the family are fatigued or they are finally accepting of the need for more visits. Feedback from patients and families has been very positive and even those reluctant to accept help have reported great benefit from a lovely group of staff.
For further information specifically about Palliative Care in Partnership, please contact Alison Clifford or Catherine Morgan-Jones: