The aim of the extension of the service is to see patients sooner in their illness (both those with cancer and those with other life-limiting illnesses) to ensure that they receive palliative anticipatory care, including advanced care planning in a timely manner.
Initially, these new referrals will be patients from the Shipston Medical Centre who are identified by their G.Ps as needing support and guidance in determining what care they would like and where they would like that care to take place. There is also an increased emphasis on family support with possible provision of respite visits to enable those caring for the patients to go out without worrying about leaving their loved ones at home on their own.
Patients will be seen and assessed by the palliative care team and reviewed on a regular basis. As their condition deteriorates the frequency of visits will increase.
If the trial is successful and patients and their families are finding the earlier intervention useful, the service will be extended to the other GP practices that SHN cover. There will be an ongoing audit throughout the trial period which will include input from patients and their carers. This will enable us to determine if we are reaching the right people at the right time and whether our earlier introduction has proved useful in helping them in planning future care.
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