Published Thursday 26th May 2016

The Herefordshire Hospice at Home service, funded by Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, will see St Michael’s Hospice and Marie Curie working together to support more local people with a terminal illness to be cared for in their own home, care home or the local hospice.

Local people will benefit from Marie Curie and Hospice nurses providing hands on nursing care and support day and night, 7 days a week, including bank holidays and weekends. While St Michael’s Hospice senior nurses will be available on call around the clock, including out of hours, to provide urgent care and assessment, when needed.

It is hoped that the new service will help to reduce unnecessary emergency admissions to hospitals, and the time spent in hospital, when people don’t want or need to be there – which can be distressing for everyone involved.

One of the first families to benefit from this new service is Haydn Robinson from Ross-on-Wye and his 86-year-old father Derrick. Haydn has been looking after Derrick for the past 12 months after he was diagnosed with kidney cancer when his health started to deteriorate.

Haydn said: “Dad hadn’t been able to do much for himself and suffered quite a few falls. It all came to a head at the beginning of February when he couldn’t walk anymore. I honestly didn’t know what to do. Dad has always been independent, and I was worried about having a conversation with him about having to go into a home. Then Dad’s doctor told me he could stay at home with this new service.

“The care was initiated by a referral to the Hospice at Home Co-ordination Hub at St Michael’s. Within a few hours, the Hub Team had arranged for nurses and health care assistants to visit dad four times a day and provide overnight care for the first two nights. Dad is getting on famously with his nurses. They are wonderful but most of all it means Dad still has some control over his life and I don’t think he would get better care anywhere else. I can’t thank them enough.”

Research shows that being cared for and dying in your place of choice is important to those affected by terminal illness. The new Herefordshire Hospice at Home service will help make this a reality for local people by enabling them to be cared for in their own home, care home or hospice.

Sue Morgan, Director of Care at St Michael’s Hospice said: “By working in partnership, we are giving patients and their loved ones the care they need in the place they want. We are passionate about helping people remain in their homes for as long as they would like. We also want the service to be as flexible and responsive as possible. Thanks to funding from the Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and support from Marie Curie, we are doing all we can to meet our patients’ changing needs and help them keep their independence.”

Andrew Wilson-Mouasher, Divisional General Manager for Marie Curie, said: “The early signs are encouraging that this new service will make a real difference to families across the county.

“By working together with St Michael’s Hospice and existing community services, we will be able to provide even more help for families going through really difficult times, and enable more local people to get the hands-on care and support they need in the place they want.”

Dr Sarah Newey, GP, Herefordshire CCG Primary Care Lead and Chair of end of life forum said: “We know that St. Michaels Hospice and Marie Curie offer valuable patient and carer centred care to those nearing the end of their life. This new addition to their service enables more patients, together with their family and carers, to be supported in the community”.

Care will be coordinated with services provided by other health and social care professionals so that different teams work better together to identify and support people with a terminal illness and their families. A new ‘hub’ based at St Michael’s Hospice will coordinate this care across Herefordshire and will also provide a new 24/7 advice and support line for patients, those close to them and the professionals who support them.

To find out more about Herefordshire Hospice at Home call St Michael’s Hospice Hub on 01432 852080.

Pictured from left to right: Gill Badham Senior Straff Nurse at St Michael’s Hospice and Jane Harreld Health Care Assistant at Marie Curie