- Run by St Luke's Hospice in partnership with Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
- Focusing on liver disease management in the community/hospice setting in South West Essex.
- Aiming to improve care for people with advanced chronic liver disease by ensuring early and timely access to support services and interventions, and increasing access to hospice-based clinical and therapeutic services.
- Will implement a shared care pathway between the acute hospital and hospice.
Liver disease is the third highest cause of mortality in working age adults. Without transplantation, morbidity is high, quality of life limited and social isolation prevalent. There is growing national recognition that people with advancing liver disease often have limited access to palliative care, and many are referred to palliative care services as late as two days before death.
This project by St Luke’s Hospice involves implementing a shared care pathway between the local acute hospital (Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) and the hospice. This will mean that liver disease patients have early and timely access to a range of support services and interventions, which will ensure their optimal wellbeing, effective management of distressing symptoms, and emotional support for themselves and their families.
The project will increase access to hospice-based holistic, supportive care for advanced liver disease patients, and streamline the process and improve access to timely paracentesis (drainage of abdominal fluid). The aim is to improve patient experience, and reduce hospital admissions and length of stay.
Patients will benefit from the range of hospice clinical and therapeutic services while remaining under active management for their liver disease from the hospital. To help maximise wellbeing patients referred to the day hospice for assessment will be offered advanced symptom control, psychological support for themselves and their family, self-management strategies, therapeutic support groups or physiotherapy input.
The project will be accessible to advanced liver disease patients and their families within South West Essex.
For more information about this project, please contact Virginia Campbell, Specialist Nurse Practitioner at St Luke’s Hospice, Basildon.