Nottinghamshire Healthcare, in partnership with Carers Trust East Midlands, has rolled out a new service to support end of life care for patients across Nottinghamshire County whose preferred choice is to remain at home.
The service provides care for up to 45 patients at a time as part of the NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) Fast Track for care which provides funding for patients who are at the end of life. The Trust’s community nursing teams work closely with the Carers Trust to ensure patients have fully coordinated end of life care. An In-reach Matron supports patients who are at end of life whilst in hospital, and coordinates the patients’ discharge to home safely to community nursing teams, Macmillan nurses and the Carers Trust team.
Sharon Thompson, the Trust’s General Manager for Nottingham North and East Adult Integrated Teams said ““Our commissioners asked if we could provide care for these patients who wished to remain in their homes in a different way, so that patients’ needs could be prioritised and they receive a more efficient, effective dedicated care service providing a more timely response. Through commissioning of the service to the Carers Trust, we have been able to provide care and support to these end of life patients. The Carers Trust already had a presence in other health projects in Rushcliffe and once the service started, we noticed that the Carers Trust was responding to patients care needs incredibly quickly. In continuing to work with the Carers Trust we hope to see ongoing improvements in the quality of care being provided.”
Since the start of the scheme in November last year, the service has improved patient care and enabled over 95% of these patients to remain in their own homes. In addition, it has saved the equivalent of around 107 hospital bed days and potentially avoided 90 hospital admissions through collaborative working between the Trust, South Clinical Commissioning Groups, Nottinghamshire Continuing Healthcare at Citycare and the Carers Trust East Midlands.
Paul Smeeton, Executive Director of Local Partnerships, said:
“With this new service patients are seeing a faster response to providing end of life care and an improved discharge pathway out of acute care and community bed based services to home. By working in partnership with the Carers Trust and other partners we can ensure we give patients the best chance of being able to choose their preferred place of care at the end of their lives.”
Dr James Hopkinson, Clinical Lead, Nottingham North and East CCG, said: “Whenever possible, patients at the end of their lives should have the opportunity to make an informed choice about where they would like to spend their final days, and it’s great to see the contribution this service will make to supporting patients to do this.
“Many patients express a preference for remaining at home at the end of their lives, and this service gives patients that choice, where it is clinically possible, while also ensuring that they, their family and their carers are supported throughout.”
The success of the new service has meant it has now rolled out across the rest of Nottinghamshire with Mid Nottinghamshire patients being the latest to benefit from the service.
Katie Wheeler, Carers Trust Project Manager, said:
“The expansion of the service now means we can offer a Nottinghamshire County-wide service, and alongside our existing Carers Hub Support Services, both patients and their carers can access the care and support they need and deserve.”
Patients are referred to this service through the CHC FastTrack for care provision. If you are interested in finding out more, please speak to your GP or community nurse.