New Hospice at Home Service coming to ACCORD – to support those in our community at home
Over the coming months, ACCORD will begin to pilot a new service called ACCORD@Home. The overall aim of this new service will be to ensure that support and assistance with care is available to those people with a terminal illness requiring the input of palliative care teams who would prefer to spend the end of their life, and die, at home.
The service is built on a model in other pockets of the UK called ‘Hospice at Home’. It has been successfully evaluated in these areas and ACCORD is delighted to be able to take this opportunity to take the essence of palliative hospice care into people’s homes. The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted a reluctance of some patients to be in institutions like hospitals, hospices and care homes so the introduction of this initiative is well timed.
The service will be underpinned by a holistic, person-centred needs assessment delivered by a dedicated team and will be co-ordinated under the umbrella of the ACCORD Community Hub to ensure the broadest range of support for those who need it.
The initial focus will be in 3 main areas:
‘Accompanied Discharge’ home from the hospice
When someone wishes to go home from the hospice for their end of life care, we will work to ensure a streamlined handover of care from the ACCORD Inpatient Unit to community teams. ACCORD@Home will support that discharge, reduce the stress and anxiety often felt by patients and their families prior to discharge and aims to minimise any potential discharge problems that may arise which could cause a delay. In a number of cases this will be a transitional arrangement that remains in place only until people are more settled again at home under the care of other care giving services.
There are situations where it becomes increasingly difficult for patients to remain in their own home at the end of their life. Symptoms can become difficult to manage and individual care needs may become increasingly difficult to meet. This development sees the ability to offer a multi-disciplinary assessment and response to those patients where the team would intervene to support the patient achieve stability again and to stay at home and avoid any unwanted admission to hospice or hospital.
‘End of Life Care’
The dying phase of someone’s life can be very complex, symptom driven and emotional. When people choose to die at home, this can also be difficult for their families and other carers. This development will allow the ACCORD@Home team to supplement existing care arrangements at home, utilising the broadest range of the multi-disciplinary palliative care team to support these patients and their families. This should make sure that the last few weeks of life are as comfortable and manageable as possible for everyone.
This new service will expand ACCORD’s ability to offer a wider range of support directly to patients in their own homes. This is important because many patients would prefer to receive the specialist care ACCORD offers within their own homes. This new development will make that option more commonly and widely available.
However, we have only been able to increase the number and range of staff involved in home-based care in this manner because of the extraordinary way that you have all supported the hospice financially.
We wish to thank our staff, volunteers and supporters for all that each is doing to sustain and improve ACCORD as we emerge from this very challenging past year.
Should you wish to support the Hospice at Home Project you can donate here