End of life care and bereavement

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Developing a bereavement service for all

By Hospice of the Good Shepherd, Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support and West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group

A scoping exercise identified that Western Cheshire had significant gaps in the provision of bereavement support. Subsequently a three year Macmillan Cancer Support funded project was launched to develop a comprehensive bereavement service for adults alongside the children and young people’s service which already existed. A project co-ordinator/ counsellor and administrator were appointed  to lead the work and a hospital bereavement booklet was developed for use in any setting. The new service became available gradually over two years  to groups of GP Practices following face to face meetings with each practice. A befriending service and support group were also developed. 

Judges' comments

"This was a well planned and excellent programme borne from a real need to improve poorly co-ordinated bereavement services. This has everything: excellent consultation and strong evaluation, with well-analysed outcomes, which led to development of an impressive service in a neglected area."

Highly commended

The St Helena Hospice SinglePoint Service

By St Helena Hospice

SinglePoint is a 24/7 advice and coordination service for all palliative and end of life patients, carers and professionals within North East Essex. As well as providing access to all hospice services it coordinates the local Marie Curie night nursing service and liaises with the specialist palliative care hospital team, community nursing, GP, ambulance and out of hours services. It includes ‘My Care Choices’, an electronic register of patients identified by GPs as being in the last year of life, making their care preferences accessible by all relevant agencies. It also provides a rapid response service to help prevent avoidable hospital admissions. The service is based on a single phone number given to all palliative and end of life patients and their carers.

Judges' comments

"This initiative was a fabulous service that prioritised care among disparate groups. They completely changed their business model in order to break down barriers to working collaboratively, bringing equity across the region. The fact that this was based at a hospice is what makes it different and innovative."


Escorted rapid discharge process from a tertiary cancer centre

By The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre

Ensuring that a dying patient and family feel supported during the transfer from a tertiary cancer centre to home is essential. Communication to community teams taking over the care of the patient is vital. A multi-professional working group based at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre developed and implemented a Rapid Discharge Plan following close liaison with services and personnel across the Network. The Cancer Centre has ensured that patients are accompanied by a trained member of nursing staff who stays with the patient until community teams arrive. 

Judges' comments

"This was a fantastic idea that meets a real need in getting people home as quickly as possible to their preferred place of care – something that should be being done, but isn’t."


The Midhurst Macmillan community specialist palliative care team

By Macmillan Cancer Support

The Midhurst Macmillan Community Specialist Palliative Care service was set up in 2006 when the King Edward VII Hospital’s inpatient palliative care unit closed. In the Midhurst service a consultant-led multi-disciplinary team provides ‘hands on’ care and advice at home, in community hospitals and in nursing or residential homes seven days a week.  This service provides specialist clinical interventions in the community such as blood/blood product transfusions, parenteral treatments, IV antibiotics, IV biphosphates, fluids, paracentesis, ultrasound and intrathecal analgesia.

Judges' comments

"A well-established programme that showed longevity."

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