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Palliative care initiative supports 1,000 patients around coast

PUBLISHED: 09:05 07 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:22 07 August 2020

Adele Madin, executive director at ECCH, Picture: ECCH

Adele Madin, executive director at ECCH, Picture: ECCH

Archant

More than 1,000 patients living with life-limiting illnesses have received free specialist palliative care across coastal communities in the first year of a community health partnership.

St Elizabeth Hospice providing specialist consultant support to six palliative care beds in Beccles Hospital. Picture: St Elizabeth HospiceSt Elizabeth Hospice providing specialist consultant support to six palliative care beds in Beccles Hospital. Picture: St Elizabeth Hospice

St Elizabeth Hospice, based in Ipswich, and East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) began working together in April 2019 to provide care and support for patients with life-limiting illness from the start of their diagnosis.

The initiative has supported patients around Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and the surrounding areas, living with conditions such as cancer, heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and neurological disorders.

The partnership between the two organisations has resulted in St Elizabeth Hospice providing specialist consultant support to six palliative care beds in Beccles Hospital, which is run by ECCH. The service also offers day care facilities, and sees 11 clinical nurse specialists visiting patients in their own homes.

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Hanna McDowell, head of therapy at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “We are encouraging everyone in the region diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, including family members affected, to get in touch as soon as possible so we can help you with guidance, care or support.

“The aim for this joint initiative is to ensure greater parity in the levels and range of care available to the communities of Great Yarmouth and Waveney in comparison to the rest of the region.

“We have made great progress but there is still work to do, and we want to continue expanding this service to enable us to help more patients and their families.”

The partnership has also helped 365 people per month have been supported by the service’s 24 hour advice line, OneCall.

The service also offers medical in reach support into the James Paget Hospital, emotional wellbeing and bereavement support as well as having a dedicated presence at the Louise Hamilton Centre, Gorleston, with future ambitions to run further services from here.

ECCH’s executive director of operations, Adele Madin said: “We are delighted to be making a real difference to people with palliative care needs in Great Yarmouth and Waveney. This service has provided options for how that care is delivered which simply didn’t exist before and we aim to continue to look for ways to build on that and improve choices for people in the future.”


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