Changes planned for Great Yarmouth and Waveney’s Hospice at Home service as pilot comes to an end

East Coast Community Healthcare's headquarters at Hamilton House in Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher

East Coast Community Healthcare's headquarters at Hamilton House in Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Changes will be made to a service which provides short term support for patients with life-limiting illnesses and palliative care needs across Waveney and Great Yarmouth.

The Hospice at Home service, which was launched in December last year, offers help to patients, who are usually housebound and over the age of 18, through a small team of registered nurses, assistant practitioners and support workers.

The service was commissioned as a one-year pilot project by the NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and provided by Lowestoft-based East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH).

However in a joint statement, the CCG and ECCH said changes will be made at the end of the year as the project had not kept as many people out of hospital as they had hoped.

The statement said: 'We are working together to develop a new way of supporting patients who are at end of life when the Hospice at Home pilot comes to an end on December 31.

'This is because evaluation of Hospice at Home has shown that whilst people who used the service valued it and felt they received an excellent service, it wasn't keeping as many people out of hospital as hoped and many people needed support at an earlier stage. Our plan after December 31 is to use existing services to provide support sooner and keep more people out of hospital where possible.

'The patients currently being supported by Hospice at Home will continue to be so, but as the service reduces in capacity, new referrals will be triaged and support increasingly provided by the CCG's continuing healthcare fast track service and ECCH's district nursing service, supported by community matrons.'

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The services provided by the Hospice at Home team include personal care, palliative care crisis support, palliative care including symptom management and short term single episode respite care.

The service, which runs seven days a week and 365 days a year, also works closely with district nursing and Out of Hospital teams and social care.

• Will the changes affect your loved one? Email

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