Hospice care begins at home

NHS Lanarkshire hospice at home scheme
NHS Lanarkshire hospice at home scheme

A hospice outreach project is harnessing the power of friendship to enable older people with life-limiting illness remain at home.

The hospice at home scheme, known as the Community Palliative Care project, launched in Cumbernauld in January and is now set to roll out throughout North Lanarkshire.

The partnership work involves specialist community-based palliative nurses working closely with around 30 specially-trained befriending volunteers, recruited by Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire (VANL).

The team’s aim is to augment existing clinical supports in the community - like district nurses, Macmillan nurses and GPs - and alleviate the stress and strain that can often go hand-in-hand with life-limiting illness, for both patient and carer.

The work is part of the nationwide Reshaping Care for Older People (RCOP) programme which seeks to help growing numbers of people over 65 to continue to live full, positive and independent lives in the community.

St Andrew’s Hospice chief executive Geoff Sage explained: “Patients want to be in their own homes and by combining the expertise and compassion of the hospice nurses and volunteers, we are committed to making that happen.

“The role our special partnership team is playing could mean the difference of someone being able to stay in their own home or being taken into hospital or a hospice.”

VANL chief executive officer Kenny Moffat added: “The project embodies the very essence of partnership working.

“Our volunteer befrienders come from a plethora of backgrounds, bringing a broad and diverse range of experience. They are all united, however, by compassion, empathy and the desire to make a real difference to people with life-limiting illness and their carers.”

For more information phone 01236 766951.