Better care for those nearing the end of their life

Patients nearing the end of their lives, their friends and family will now have better access to the highest quality of care and support, thanks to the joining of two previously separate teams based at St Mary’s Hospital.

In addition to the hospital care they would usually receive, those who are facing death and dying will have support from a team that is highly specialised in end of life care, who will now be available for longer hours during the day (8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday). Anyone who needs support outside of these hours will be able to use Mountbatten’s 27/4 specialist advice phone line, based in Mountbatten’s Care Coordination Centre where calls are answered by an administration team working alongside Mountbatten’s highly specialist clinical teams, which include bereavement support.

The change will see the two hospital-based end of life teams, one run by Mountbatten and the other by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, work much more closely together. The new service will be called the joint Integrated Palliative and End of Life Care Team (IPET).

Patient referrals will be simplified; there will be one team and one way for people who need end of life care to access the service. All those within the team will have an overall understanding of patients who need their support, and care can be better coordinated between staff members.

Shane Moody, Clinical Director for End of Life Care at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said: “Dying is undoubtedly one of the most challenging experiences for both patients and their loved ones. We want to make sure that people who die in hospital have access to highly experienced staff, when they need them, who can support them through this difficult time. We very much hope that we will be able to further extend this support in future, with people having access to this expertise seven days a week.”

All are welcome to attend the launch of this new team at an event in the Conference Room at St Mary’s Hospital on Friday 18th January from 10am to 4pm. Members of the team will be on hand to answer any questions and explain some of the recent improvements being made at St Mary’s Hospital. The event is also a chance to promote conversations about death and dying, and there will be a number of ways attendees can get involved in this important discussion.