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Early success for innovative nurse-led end of life care team

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A nurse-led project, which supports speedy discharges from hospital for patients at the end of life, has received plaudits in its first year of operation in Wandsworth.

Local health and social care professionals have given their support to the Wandsworth Care Co-ordination Centre in South London, which will celebrate its first anniversary this month.

“No task is too big or too small to ensure that someone can die with dignity at home”

Cathy Maylin

The centre, based at Royal Trinity Hospice and run in partnership with Marie Curie and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has supported over 400 patients in its first year of operation.

The nurse-led coordination team at the centre arranges rapid packages of care and equipment to enable patients be cared for at home and acts as a helpline for patients, families and professionals.

There is also a dedicated St George’s end of life community nurse who provides extra support and advice in the community and a team of Marie Curie health and personal care assistants that can offer specialised hands-on care at home.

According to local health professionals, including community and hospital nurses, the centre has resulted in an improvement in the quality of care provided.

In a recent survey, 90% rated the service as “good” or “very good”, characterised by faster discharges, patients and families feeling more reassured, and patients feeling more supported to remain at home.

Two thirds of professionals also said they felt it freed up clinical time and made organising care easier for them.

Cathy Maylin, head of the Wandsworth Care Co=ordination Centre, said: “We have worked hard over the last year to build relationships with health and social care colleagues to ensure that everyone who could benefit from our help knows where we are.

“Every patient is different and every day presents a new challenge, but no task is too big or too small to ensure that someone can die with dignity at home, if that is their wish,” she said.

She added: “We’ve got a great team in place and look forward to supporting even more people in the year ahead.”

The centre is funded by Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group. It was set up to address confusion among patients and their families about who to contact for help and support, due to the range of organisations involved in end of their life.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • michael stone

    Problems with 'going home to die' [from hospital], and also with dying patients being take to hospital when that should not have happened, are both well known: this project might help with the situation.

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