Pilot scheme bid to help improve end of life care

Sue Crossman.jpeg

Sue Crossman.jpeg - Credit: Archant

Cancer patients in West Norfolk are set to benefit from a new approach to care at home being piloted in the area and five other locations around the UK.

West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (WNCCG) is working with Macmillan Cancer Support to trial Macmillan Specialist Care at Home, which improves care for people affected by cancer and other life-limiting conditions at the end of their life.

Based on a Swedish model of advanced home care, it's led by a community-based consultant doctor working with a team of highly skilled doctors, nurses, support workers and other professionals to provide flexible and personalised care.

People affected by cancer and other life-limiting conditions are referred for specialist care at the earliest opportunity, and offered as much medical treatment and support in the home as possible.

The team also collaborates with a range of local health and social care organisations to join up and co-ordinate the right support for the individual and their family.

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The programme in West Norfolk will start in April and run until 2016, at which point an external evaluation undertaken by academics at Nottingham University's Sue Ryder Centre will inform future plans.

Ciarán Devane, chief executive, Macmillan Cancer Support, said: 'We know that three-quarters of cancer patients would prefer to spend their final days in their own home with family and friends, but less than a third actually do.

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'To allow people a real choice, we need health and social care services to be co-ordinated into a seamless package of care.

'We hope that by testing the Macmillan Specialist Care at Home approach with WNCCG we will further demonstrate a blueprint for the way end of life care is delivered in the future.'

Sue Crossman, chief officer of WNCCG, said home-based care for patients at all stages in their end of life journey was a priority in West Norfolk.

She said: 'The Macmillan Specialist Care at Home service will provide a valuable extension to the West Norfolk 'Hospice at Home' Service, which consists of a team of health and care staff from several organisations working together to care for terminally ill people who wish to stay at home.

'We are very pleased to be able to offer this enhanced service to people in West Norfolk.'

Have you got a health story in West Norfolk? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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