New care model brings ‘one-team’ approach to Sidmouth Hospiscare’s extended services

Emma Thomas, the RD&E's Sidmouth Community Nurse Team Manager, and Gill Ryall, Chief Executive Offic

Emma Thomas, the RD&E's Sidmouth Community Nurse Team Manager, and Gill Ryall, Chief Executive Officer, Sidmouth Hospiscare. Picture: Sidmouth Hospiscare - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Hospiscare has announced a major overhaul of its services, centred around caring for patients in their own homes with all the support they and their families need from the local community.

A team of palliative nurses will be available to all patients with life-limiting conditions, not just those with the most complex needs.

These nurses will offer a ‘one-team’ approach, tailored to the individual needs of each patient, their family and their carers.

They will provide ‘hospice at home’ nursing, including specialist care for those with the most complex needs, and emotional support for patients, carers and families. A key part of this will be providing links to other health and wellbeing organisations in the community.

Patients can be referred to inpatient units if necessary, preferably at Sidmouth’s Victoria Hospital so that they remain close to family and friends, or at Hospiscare’s specialist ward in Exeter if required.

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Nurses already funded by the charity are being encouraged to apply for posts with the new palliative care team, who will be commissioned from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD&E).

This team will offer whatever support is needed, including advice to carers, ‘hospice at home’ nursing, specialist symptom management and referral to inpatient care if necessary.

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The nurses will also bring in volunteer help for carers and link them up with community health and wellbeing organisations.

The RD&E’s divisional director of community services, Zoe Harris, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Sidmouth Hospiscare to provide this service. It builds upon the existing palliative care and expertise which has been in place for many years. This new approach will not only give people and their families more choice and control, at what can be such a difficult and emotional time, but also ensures that tailored, individual end of life support is available at home and in the local community for all those who need it.”

The vice chair of Hospiscare (Exeter, Mid and East Devon), Dr Helen Enright, said: “We would like to thank Sidmouth Hospiscare for all their financial support over the last 35 years, enabling us to provide our specialist palliative care for the Sidmouth community and we wish them and the RD&E the best of luck with their new palliative care team.

“Hospiscare (Exeter, Mid and East Devon) will continue to support the people of Sidmouth through our specialist palliative care ward in Exeter, and our 24-hour advice line and education support for GPs, healthcare professionals and care homes.”

The chair of Sidmouth Hospiscare, David Cook, said: “Sidmouth is at the forefront of a growing palliative care requirement in the UK, and we have developed an innovative model of care to meet those demands.

“We look forward to working with the RD&E to establish the new palliative nursing team and enhance the care and support that we can provide for all patients in the Sid Valley and their carers and families.”

Sidmouth Hospiscare is also setting up an information and advice centre at the former Age Concern premises in High Street, to raise awareness of the new services and signpost people to other sources of help.

Visit the Sidmouth Hospiscare websitefor further information.

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