The Calderdale Palliative Care Service aims to reduce unnecessary – and often distressing – hospital admissions, as well as providing specialist training to health and social care professionals across the area.
The service has been commissioned by Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group and delivered in partnership by Marie Curie, Overgate Hospice and Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.
It is available 365 days a year, from 11.15pm and 8.15am.
Specialist staff can offer urgent advice and nursing care to patients and their families and carers. This can be either face-to-face or over the phone.
And since the beginning of March the service has seen almost 150 patients, emphasising that many people do wish to be cared for at home or in a care home environment at the end of their life.
The two-year pilot also includes an educational role which offers training in end of life care to clinical teams in the community including GPs, district nurses and care home staff. This element is delivered by a specialist educator employed by Overgate Hospice.
Speaking about the service, Charles Thompson, Marie Curie Business & Service Development Manager, said: “This exciting new partnership is an excellent example of how different organisations can work together to pool our combined expertise and resources to deliver an innovative service that really benefits local people living with a terminal illness, and their families.
“Since commencing in March the service has made a real difference to terminally ill people across Calderdale, ensuring they get the care they need, when they need it.”
Angela Walton, Clinical Services Director at Overgate Hospice added: “We are pleased to be part of this new partnership arrangement which allows us to share our specialist palliative care knowledge and skills within this new educator role in the community. We intend to deliver education that meets the learning and training needs of a diverse workforce of health and social care professionals.
“We recognise the clinical expertise of colleagues within Calderdale and aim to support the sharing of good practice to better meet the needs and wishes of patients and their families.”
“To be able to team up with our partners in this way means a lot to the Trust,” said Rob Aitchison, the Trust’s Assistant Director of Commissioning and Partnerships.
“We know the difference it will make to our patients who can now receive the treatment and care they need, when they need it and in their own homes supported by their families.”