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- Led by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, supported by partner organisations, including Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group, and Sue Ryder Manorlands.
- Project that ran across Airedale, Wharfedale, Craven and Bradford.
- Designed to improve the quality of care for end-of-life patients.
- Introduced an electronic palliative care coordination system for patients identified as being in the last year of their life, and provided them with access to a helpline staffed by senior nurses.
This project is featured in our Power of People series of short films, which offer a unique and moving take on how the lives of people using health services and their families can be improved through the determined efforts of people working in health care.
Most people say they would prefer to die in their own home, yet the majority die in hospital. Recognising this, Bringing healthcare home was a project designed to improve the quality of care for patients identified as being in the last year of their life.
The project team started by looking at existing end-of-life care pathways and assessing the gaps in services and barriers to their implementation. A central electronic register of patients thought to be in the last year of life was set up, which included the future care wishes of these patients. Health care staff underwent communication skills training so that they would feel competent and confident in having sensitive conversations with end-of-life patients and their carers. A 24/7 telephone helpline was set up, manned by senior nurses. This gives patients and their carers access to clinical opinion and support in their own home.
As a result of these interventions and a collaborative approach to health care delivery, end-of-life patients have been assisted to remain at their preferred place of care for longer.
Key to the project’s success was strong executive and clinical leadership. The team also invested a lot of time planning and designing the initiative, and consulting with stakeholders. This resulted in the scope of the project being amended as it progressed, for example as it became clear that patient identification and staff training would be needed, alongside the implementation of the helpline itself.