Hospice and HSSD provide new specialist palliative care team for Islanders

| September 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

Jersey Hospice Care is to expand its services to help more Islanders who need the specialist care and support they can provide for end-of-life care.

From later this year, the charity will be able to provide care for any Islander who requires end-of-life care, through the services of a specialist palliative care team. Traditionally, Hospice worked only with patients who needed palliative care for cancer, or Motor Neurone Disease. For some time, the charity has been working towards expanding its remit to enable all Islanders with palliative care needs to be cared for, regardless of diagnosis, thereby ensuring equitable palliative care for all in Jersey.

Following detailed planning, the Health and Social Services Department (HSSD) has given £810,000 in funding in 2014 to enable more specialist staff to work with those who require end-of-life care in Jersey, followed by a further £883,000 in 2015, as part of the work the department is undertaking to transform health and social care services for Islanders. The funding means that Hospice staff can deliver their services not only at Jersey Hospice’s newly-expanded site at Mont Cochon, but also throughout the Island, in people’s homes and at the General Hospital.

The new specialist palliative care team will deliver Island-wide support, care, advice and symptom control across Jersey for patients with any life-limiting progressive disease and/or condition such as end-stage organ failure, with specific palliative care needs, such as respiratory, heart or renal failure. The team will be working across all areas of health and so will be able to assess all patients, whether they are at home, in a nursing/residential home or in hospital. The team will be made up of clinical nurse specialists, an associate specialist doctor, GP champions, a nurse champion, a social worker, allied health professionals, bereavement support workers and a pharmacist.

Chief Executive for Jersey Hospice Care, Steve Harvey said: “The decision to extend our remit in this way was based on the clear evidence of the benefit to patients and their families. It also ensures equitable palliative care for all, regardless of diagnosis. Jersey Hospice Care will also be creating a Hospice at Home team which, in close collaboration with all other service areas of the Hospice, will help to support the care of people in their own homes in partnership with the community nursing services.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer the services of our highly-skilled staff to more patients and families at what is an important and sensitive time in a patient’s life. Jersey Hospice Care trustees have decided to undertake this specialist palliative care provision in partnership with HSSD.

“We have always taken the view that specialist palliative care is a blend of physical, psychological and spiritual support and it involves a broad mix of skills including medical and nursing care, social work, pastoral/spiritual care, allied health professionals and pharmacy support.”

Following consultation at ministerial level, Jersey Hospice Care was identified as ideal for providing specialist palliative care and to lead in the partnership, working with other organisations to guarantee an integrated service for patients and their families.

Mr Harvey added: “This invitation to deliver specialist palliative care and to lead in end-of-life care reflects the confidence placed in us and recognises the excellence of the services and facilities provided and the knowledge, skills and experience of the team who provide them.

“There have been detailed discussions with the HSSD commissioners with acknowledgement that there will need to be a transition period for the implementation of the new agreement. Jersey Hospice Care will lead on the plan and define timelines.

“We will be broadening our remit and changing the way we deliver care and developing a new specialist palliative care team. The new team will deliver Island-wide support, care, advice and symptom control across Jersey for patients with any life-limiting progressive disease and/or condition such as end-stage organ failure, with specific palliative care needs, such as respiratory, heart or renal failure. The team will work across all areas of health and so will be able to assess the patient wherever they are, be that at home, in a nursing or residential home or hospital.”

Deputy Anne Pryke, Minister for Health and Social Services said: “Each person must be treated as an individual, with respect, dignity and compassion, as they near the end of their life. As a former nurse, I spent 20 years at Jersey Hospice Care mainly working as a Home Care Sister in the community, so I know first-hand the importance of a loved one being able to experience this. People, wherever possible, should be able to have a good end to their lives, surrounded by their family and friends, in familiar surroundings.

“We know that through their expertise in this area, our colleagues at Hospice will be able to help even more families whose loved ones require palliative care, and be there when they are needed most.

“Good palliative care is an essential and required service and one which is held in high regard by my department. I and my team at HSSD recognise the need to be able to provide a unique blend of medical support and emotional support as someone nears the end of their life.”

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