• Run by St Luke's Hospice in partnership with Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Focused on liver disease management in the community/hospice setting in South West Essex.
  • Aimed to improve care for people with advanced chronic liver disease through timely access to support services and interventions, and hospice-based clinical and therapeutic services.
  • Project ran from January 2016 to August 2017.

Liver disease is the third highest cause of mortality in working age adults, and palliative and end-of-life care for people with advanced liver disease (ALD) is often poor.

This project involved implementing a shared care pathway between Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and St Luke’s Hospice.

It gave 36 patients and their carers access to supportive care services at the Hospice, highlighting a significant unmet need and achieving improved outcomes for patients. Those who deteriorated or died on the project had improved end of life care with all having an opportunity to discuss their end of life care wishes.

Challenges included the initial time constraint for project completion, but this was addressed by a project extension, enabling demonstration of the full impact of the intervention.

A successful partnership between Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department (MCPCRD) and the Hospice project team resulted in a comprehensive evaluation of the project.

Patients and carers embraced being part of the project, with significant learning gained from their shared experiences.

ALD patients and their carers will continue to be supported by the Hospice through the shared care pathway.  Funding is being sought to establish a clinical nurse practitioner to work with the advanced nurse practitioner at the Hospice.