A review of how specialist palliative care is delivered to patients in the community took place in OLH&CS during 2013. For several years, the number of patients we see has been increasing by 10% every year and we needed to re-evaluate how best to continue to offer a high quality and responsive service. This is at a time of changing healthcare needs and increasing service demands in a fragile economic climate.
Our new model of care will embrace all of the specialist palliative care services previously offered to patients in the community setting, but in a more co-ordinated manner. The services of Day Hospice and home visits by the Community Specialist Palliative Care Team (CSPCT, previously known as Home Care) will continue. However, there will be a significant increase in the availability of Out-patient clinics to facilitate the needs of patients who would prefer to, or benefit from, attending at an appointed time, rather than waiting/ availing of a home visit and thereby offering increased choice and flexibility.
Triage of referrals to CSPCS
Referrals are coordinated to all aspects of the community services, under one referrals system. All referrals are triaged daily by the clinical team.
Our aim is to:
- Assess all patient referrals and offer a response in a timely manner.
- Enable staff to prioritise care according to need.
- Facilitate the delivery of specialist Palliative Care in the setting that is most appropriate to each patient’s needs.
- Offer support to community healthcare professionals.
The aim is to identify and quantify the need for SPC intervention. Contact is made with the patient, and the service deemed most appropriate is offered, based on the information presented on the referral form. Those who need assessment at home will be prioritised for a home visit. Those who are mobile and able to attend as an outpatient may be invited to attend a specialist clinic, by appointment, or offered a place in Day Hospice.