World Hospice and Palliative Care Day to highlight importance of hospice research

Categories: Research.

As part of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day on October 13, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network is shining a light on research in hospice and community settings.

The aim of the day is to raise awareness that research can and should take place in these settings, and that health and social care professionals should consider these places as sites for their studies.

Hospice In Your Home, a community nursing service provided by Wigan and Leigh Hospice has been taking part in a national research project. It was selected as one of six services to participate in the project to examine which models of providing hospice care in patient homes works best.

The research project ‘Optimum Hospice at Home Services for End of Life Care’ aims to examine which features work, who they work for and how that enables better care and outcomes for both patients and carers.

Every year the Hospice In Your Home service based at Wigan and Leigh Hospice cares for hundreds of local people with a life-limiting illness, and last year cared for over 400 patients. The team, made up of three nurses and 11 healthcare assistants, cares solely for people in the community to provide a hospice service in their own homes.

Rose Davis, Hospice In Your Home Manager, said:

“Across the country hospice at home services vary a great deal, services utilise different skills sets, serve diverse populations and not every area has the same NHS services.

“The researchers, supported by the National Association for Hospice at Home (NAHH), approached 128 hospice at home services and from that we were selected to be one of the services they wanted to do an in-depth study on. We were chosen partly because we are a larger team, we offer care over a 24-hour period seven days a week and we are based in an urban deprived area.

“By sharing knowledge and experience in this way the care of patients and loved ones who care for them will ultimately be improved, we are delighted to be part of it.  From our team’s angle we’ve been really encouraged by how many patients and carers are willing to take part at a difficult time so they can help others”

The number of people expressing a wish to die at home is increasing and the project aims to ensure that, not only is care improved, but that hospices are equipped as best they can to meet this growing demand.

The researchers are spending time with the Hindley-based team to understand how the team works and are doing telephone interviews involving between 60 and 70 patients until March 2019 with patients and their carers.

Once the research project is complete guidelines will be produced to help with decision making, service development, ensuring best practice for hospice at home services.

For more information visit the NIHR