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Marie Curie and Farleigh Hospice join forces with Provide Community to enhance ‘out of hours’ care

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  • 2024
  • February
  • Marie Curie and Farleigh Hospice join forces with Provide Community to enhance ‘out of hours’ care
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A pilot project has been launched across mid Essex to enhance the existing overnight care service people receive in their own homes.

The pilot project is a joint three-month initiative to enhance the specialist ‘out of hours’ care the District Nursing Team run, by joining forces and working with Marie Curie and Farleigh Hospice.

People living with terminal illness need palliative care to help them manage their symptoms and may also require specialist care when they reach the end of their life. In mid Essex, if they need this support when they are at home at night, they are cared for by Provide Community’s District Nursing Team from 8pm to 8am.

Marie Curie is the UK’s leading end of life charity. It helps people with any illness they are likely to die from including Alzheimer’s (and other forms of dementia), heart, liver, kidney and lung disease, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s, and advanced cancer.

Farleigh Hospice is the local charity that provides specialist care and support, including palliative and end of life care, to people affected by life-limiting illnesses and bereavement across mid Essex.

Until Sunday 31 March 2024, referrals that come through the existing overnight district nursing service will be assessed by Provide Community’s team and triaged to a specialist team of Registered Nurses and Healthcare Assistants from Marie Curie, with additional staff from Farleigh Hospice. They will provide responsive palliative and end of life care and support to these people in their homes.

Research from Marie Curie has shown that gaps in out-of-hours care can lead to avoidable trips to accident and emergency departments. The research also found that, over a year, approximately 780,000 out-of-hours visits were made to accident and emergency across the UK for people in the last year of life. These visits increase rapidly during the final three months of life, with out-of-hours visits increasing more than in-hours visits.

By working together to provide specialist palliative care when and where it is needed, Marie Curie, Farleigh Hospice and Provide Community hope to reduce avoidable visits to accident and emergency during the winter months when there is increased pressure on the NHS.

This pilot project is being funded by Marie Curie.

Jon Clemo, Marie Curie Associate Director for East of England said, “At Marie Curie we know that pain and other symptoms can suddenly increase when someone is nearing the end of their life, so fast, responsive care is needed around the clock.

“Our close collaboration with Farleigh Hospice and Provide Community will ensure that anyone in Mid Essex can make one phone call and Marie Curie’s expert urgent hospice care at home teams can provide care at short notice.

“This service will provide support to patients and their family and carers overnight during the winter months, avoiding calls to 999 and the anxiety of unnecessary hospital admissions.”

Ellie Miller, Director of Care at Farleigh Hospice, worked with Jon Clemo to develop the pilot. She said, “Thank you to my colleagues at Marie Curie and Provide Community for being so receptive and committed to developing this innovative new model for out of hours palliative and end of life care.

“Farleigh’s vision is that everyone in mid Essex who is facing the end of their life will be supported to live well and die well. We will be using the outcomes and lessons learnt from this project to look at how we can further develop our care to respond to the needs of our patients in the future.”

Stephanie Dawe, CEO of Provide Health, said: “It is a privilege for our existing Overnight District Nursing Service to be able work with Marie Curie and Farleigh Hospice in this pioneering initiative. This project is about enhancing how palliative care is delivered in our community.

“By providing overnight care, we are taking a significant step towards ensuring that individuals living with terminal illness receive the compassionate, specialist support they need, in the comfort of their own home.

“This collaboration is testament to our commitment to delivering holistic and responsive healthcare, reducing the strain on emergency services, and most importantly, honours the dignity and comfort of our patients during their most critical times.”

The Overnight District Nursing Service can be contacted 7 days a week by calling 07580 912 693.

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