It is hoped that the service, which already operates in the north east and the west of Glasgow, will be able to support an additional 600 patients, including those receiving care at the newly built Queen Elizabeth University Hospital – the largest hospital in Scotland.
Launched in 2012, the service helped 393 patients to be discharged from hospitals and the Marie Curie Hospice in Glasgow in 2014/15, and also prevented 116 hospital admissions.
Funding for the service has been provided by the Integrated Care Fund, which looks to support partnership working to improve outcomes for patients. Marie Curie works with the NHS and local authority to deliver the service.
Speak at the launch event for the extended service, Yvonne Owens, Marie Curie regional manager for Scotland South, said: “Over 900 patients have benefited since the Marie Curie Fast Track Service launched in Glasgow in 2012. These are patients at the end of life who are at risk of hospital or hospice admission, or need additional support to allow them to be discharged and return home where they tell us they most want to be.
“The only way this is possible is thanks to us all working together to put the patient and their family, at the centre of their care.”
Professor Craig White, chair of the National Advisory Group on Palliative and End of Life Care for the Scottish government, who also spoke at the event, called the Fast Track Service “a great example of the sort of improvements that can be delivered through a strong focus on listening and responding to what matters most to people when it comes to care at the end of life.”
“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting improved access to palliative care. The Strategic Framework for Action will outline details of the changes that will be made over the coming years to support more people to receive the sort of high quality care that the Glasgow Fast Track Service is designed to provide,” he added.
David Williams, chief officer designate of Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, agreed with Professor White.
“The Marie Curie Fast Track Service is a great example of collaborative working and putting the patient and their family at the centre of their care,” he said. “Partnership working, and shared knowledge alongside delivering high quality care, means patients can spend their last days in their homes with their families.”
Find out more about the Fast Track Service on the Marie Curie website.