Isabel Hospice employed their first Clinical Nurse Specialist in 2006 to provide education and direct support for referred patients to nursing homes from a grant by the James Tudor Foundation. This enabled us to be one of the first hospices to support care homes directly.
Since this time, the role has developed and the Clinical Nurse Specialist has worked closely with the East of England NHS ABC Education Care Home programme to deliver end of life education to both residential and nursing homes together with domiciliary care agencies. This work has been audited and presented nationally at palliative care conferences.
Individuals who reside in care homes can be referred for specialist advice and will be supported by locality Clinical Nurse Specialists. Referrals can be made to our service directly from care homes or via General Practitioners. Referrals are accepted for symptom control and psychological support for both the patient and family. To make a referral, please see ‘How to make a referral’.
Bespoke palliative care education for care homes can be requested from our education team. Find out more here.
EASE Pilot Scheme - palliative care training, in care homes
We are delighted to be piloting a new project called EASE (Educate Advise Support Empower). The project will see an Isabel Hospice Clinical Nurse Specialist train care home staff. This will empower them to be confident in providing specialist palliative care to their residents, and in turn reduce the number of unnecessary admissions of their residents to hospital, often on blue lights, and ensuring they are able to die in the place of their choosing, which is often in the home.
Kirsty Hill the dedicated Clinical Nurse Specialist for EASE said
“This is part of the Hospice’s five year strategy; to work in collaboration with, and spread the knowledge of, palliative care to other healthcare providers through education and training.
We know that we are part of an increasingly elderly population living with multiple, often complex, health issues. Many of us move to residential or nursing care homes where staff manage palliative care needs on a daily basis, caring for more people at the end of life than anywhere else.”
Kirsty added “Because care home staff work so hard and deserve the training invested in them, this project will undoubtedly have positive results for both staff and care home residents. I have started working closely with 4 homes to improve staff confidence and knowledge in offering expert palliative and end of life care.
I work with care home teams, the GPs that support them, the residents and their families, tackling subjects such as advance care planning, having difficult conversations around death and dying, supporting families and reducing avoidable hospital admissions at an already difficult time. I spend a morning and an afternoon every week in each home, providing opportunistic informal teaching, providing an advisory service, introducing processes and reference files for the units, going on GP ward rounds and empowering the team and the residents to have a say in their care. I am keen to celebrate the good work of care home teams and believe everyone has a right to receive excellent end of life care and that should come from the people they are most familiar with and in the place they call home.”
Last year, Isabel Hospice cared for 1,555 patients with 1, 402 of those being cared for at home, and 153 at the Hospice’s In-Patient Unit. As the need for more care at home increases, Isabel Hospice, through projects like EASE, aim to meet that need by educating and collaborating with other healthcare providers.
Care homes in this project are;
- Autumn Vale in Welwyn
- Highfield in Ware
- Sanctuary in Hatfield and
- Ashview in Widford