The Caring Together programme, which aims to improve the quality and access to palliative care for any patients in the advanced stages of heart failure, is set to continue for a further 18 months.
Since launching in March 2011, the programme has helped more than 230 patients and their families and has been key in allowing these patients to stay in their preferred place of care and avoid hospital admissions where possible.
Every patient referred to the programme receives a comprehensive assessment of their palliative care needs, a review of their cardiological management, and the allocation of a care manager who coordinates and manages the care for these patients.
The programme makes sure that heart failure patients with supportive care needs have access to advice, support and services, including benefits and hospice day services, at an appropriate time in the progression and deterioration of their illness.
As part of the programme’s extension, the provision of care to heart failure patients at the end of their lives will continue as well as the provision of mentoring and training to support staff involved in their care – an integral part of the programme since it began.
Iain Armstrong, Marie Curie’s Caring Together Programme Manager, said: “Caring Together is a fantastic example of what can be done to improve end of life care for those patients with more complex care requirements. Working in partnership with BHF Scotland and the NHS, this programme has already made a huge difference to lives of those patients and their families who have benefited from these services. With this 18 month extension, the programme will now help more patients in the advanced stages of heart failure, whilst enabling the programme partners to provide a more detailed evaluation of the programme’s impact.”
Marjory Burns, Director of BHF Scotland, added: “Caring Together is an innovative programme for patients with advanced heart failure that supports the Scottish Government’s action plan for palliative care services, Living and Dying Well, which calls for a more equitable provision of end of life care services for patients with any advanced, progressive or incurable condition across all care settings. This partnership is showing the way in terms of a service that patients and their families really appreciate.”