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  • Run by Rowcroft Hospice.
  • Patients at the end of their lives who are elderly, have dementia, or who live in rural or coastal areas can struggle to access community hospice palliative care support.
  • A web app will be designed to facilitate relational and proactive care by directing patients and their caregivers to the information they need at the right time.
  • Running from September 2023 to July 2024, with potential further funding to pilot the idea.

With an ageing population, many living with life-limiting illnesses, the demand for palliative care continues to grow, putting pressure on community hospice teams. Most people at the end of their lives express a preference for receiving care in their own homes, but can find it difficult to cope at home due to insufficient knowledge, not knowing when to access help, and emotional struggles faced by informal caregivers.

Research during the first phase of this project found that those caring for people living with life-limiting conditions want information in an easily accessible format about what to expect in the future, who to contact and when, and access to a human voice or presence when needed. 

This project looks to address these needs by developing a co-designed web app for people facing life-limiting diseases, and their families and caregivers. The platform will also be a resource for health and social care professionals and volunteers, aiding their support for those nearing the end of life.

The app will be designed to provide the information needed at the right time. Users will have options for support, including e-consultations, telephone calls or in-person assistance. It is anticipated that the web app will also be able to trigger a check-in call from the community hospice team when red flags are identified via self-assessments. This approach aims to alleviate concerns raised during the first phase of the project; ensuring that patients and their caregivers don’t find themselves at home worrying or uncertain about when to seek help.

Phase 2 (testing ideas) of the project will involve learning from users and staff, co-designing prototypes, and testing what the web app might include. 

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Gillian Horne, Programme Director – Care Services, Rowcroft Hospice. 

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