Categories: Care and Leadership.

A new service aimed at supporting people at the end of life has been launched in Liverpool and South Sefton following a successful pilot.

The Integrated Mersey Palliative Care Team (IMPaCT) service is one of the first of its kind in the UK and is made up by a group of healthcare professionals – including doctors, specialist nurses and specialist therapists – who work collaboratively in hospitals, hospices and in the community to deliver high quality, person-centred palliative care across the city.

The new service is a partnership between Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Woodlands Hospice. The organisations have also worked alongside other healthcare organisations, commissioners and patient representatives to develop the new service.

The IMPaCT service can support around 3,000 people a year[1]. By reducing unnecessary hospital stays, the service is predicted to prevent around 5,800 hospital bed days annually. Every year that’s a £2.6million saving for NHS acute care.[2]

Trish Bennett, Executive Director of Nursing and Operations at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“The success of the IMPaCT model has reduced unplanned hospital admissions and improved partnership working, meaning more of our patients are being supported when they are at their most vulnerable. Instead of patients having to contact multiple services for their needs, access to all support and advice is now available to them via one phone number.”

To mark the official launch of the service, an event was held at Aintree Racecourse, attended by health and social care professionals from across the sector.

Dr Laura Chapman, Medical Director at the Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool, said:

“Research we’ve gathered during the last few years has demonstrated how IMPaCT has significantly improved coordination between care providers and resulted in staff working more effectively, meaning improved access to care for patients.

“We’ve also seen an uplift in the number of patients supported to die in their preferred place, whether that’s at home or in care homes.

“This in turn has helped reduce unplanned hospital admissions across the city – for example we found that patients with three or more emergency admissions in the last 90 days of life decreased by 44% when they were supported by IMPaCT.

“I’m delighted that this game-changing service has now received the recognition and funding from Liverpool CCG, allowing us continue to support dying people across Liverpool to have the best possible end of life experience.”

Impact user Ellen Loudon and Husband Mark and video of Ellen’s experience can be viewed HERE

Among one of the first people to benefit from the IMPaCT service when it was at pilot stage was Mark Loudon. Mark was living with oesophageal cancer which had spread to his bones, and spent time at the Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool, prior to his death at home in March 2021 (age 58).

His wife Ellen Loudon (age 54, from Liverpool) shares: “Mark was a great dad, an amazing husband, and he had a lot of hope. We had a great life together and always said that we flew without nets, that we could manage to do anything if we had each other.

“Mark was living with cancer for a few years and when we found out there was no likelihood of recovery the palliative nurses and Marie Curie did what they could for him, including getting him home.

“Those last months I felt like I was running out of time and all these impossible things were mounting up, I was feeling stress and anxiety. The IMPaCT service made sure that all the bits and pieces were put in the right place, from personal care to medication to resourcing, taking care of all those things which you never known you’re going to need to deal with until you have someone so unwell at home. I was kept informed but not troubled, and it meant that I could focus on Mark, our family, and the time we had left together.”


IMPaCT offers expert advice and support for patients with a terminal illness, and their carers 24 hours a day, seven days a week via: 0300 100 1002.

For more information about the service, visit:


Mersey Care Fact File

During 2020/21 Mersey Care

  • employed around 8,000 staff and served a population of almost 11 million people
  • provided care, treatment and support through its mental health, secure and specialist learning disability services to 40,871 service users
  • received 190,849 distinct referrals within its community services
  • provided services from 130 sites both of its own and premises rented from others
  • had 765 inpatient beds as at 31 March 2021
  • had 1,805,976 outpatient attendances, community contacts or domiciliary visits.

(Statistics based on audited figures for 2020/21)

About Marie Curie
Marie Curie is the UK’s leading end of life charity. The charity provides essential nursing and hospice care for people with any terminal illness, a free support line and a wealth of information and support on all aspects of dying, death and bereavement. It is the largest charity funder of palliative and end of life care research in the UK. Marie Curie is committed to sharing its expertise to improve quality of care and ensuring that everyone has a good end of life experience. Marie Curie is calling for recognition and sustainable funding of end of life care and bereavement support.

Dying in Poverty campaign
Marie Curie is calling on the UK Government to grant working age people early access to their State Pension if they have a terminal illness, because nobody should die in poverty. The charity is also calling for greater support with energy costs to be made available to all terminally ill people, regardless of their age, and for more support with the costs of childcare for terminally ill parents with young children. If you believe that nobody should die in poverty sign Marie Curie’s petition calling for government action


[1] The service supports approximately 22 people every day

[2] During a 6-month period between 1st October 2020-31st March 2021, compared to the corresponding year, the rate meant there were 154 fewer hospital admissions over a six month period, as part of a matched cohort analysis. The average length of stay for this cohort of patients prior to intervention was 19.1 days. This analysis shows a total annualised reduction of 5,883 bed days.

Whilst a direct patient level costings analysis has not been possible, the reduction in distributed cost pressures in the acute sector at a £450 per day is annualised at £2,647,260, with associated efficiency of time and flow as these are all emergency admissions.


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