CHFT 's palliative care hailed at top conference

Our CHFT scheme to position palliative care nurses in our EDs and MAUs has been hailed at a top national conference.

Helen Harris and Julie Wood are central to the success of the Macmillan Acute Specialist Palliative Care Project started last year.

They delivered a poster and a presentation to the SAM International Conference in Bournemouth.

Previously, they were office-based and waited for referrals. They now work more closely with in the “front end” of our hospitals ensuring our patients receive the care they need at an earlier stage in their stay with us. It also means we can off better support to our patients’ families throughout their palliative treatment.

Helen and Julie are also working with local nursing homes to provide colleagues there with support and care packages for their end of life patients to reduce the occasions their residents return to our EDs often under a blue light.

The idea for CHFT to present at the conference came from Dr Purav Desai as he recognised it was something unique and which he had not seen in the SAM Journal or at SAM conferences.

After a year, Helen and Julie had enough data to show what had been achieved together with Acute Medicine colleagues.

The project was the idea of our former Chief Nurse, Julie Hoole and has Macmillan funding for two years.

Helen said:  “It was the first time I have ever presented at a conference (so it was somewhat anxiety provoking!). It was great to meet colleagues of all disciplines working in acute medicine and to share experiences of how palliative and end of life care is managed in other areas”.

“I had lots of really positive conversations and people were enthusiastic about the Project, with some promising to take the learning back to their Trusts and some about to embark on similar projects.”

She added that she has had fantastic support from:

  • Julie Wood, her colleague on the Project
  • Dr Desai for the idea to submit an abstract
  • The AMU and ED teams of medics and nurses
  • The Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Team
  • Charlotte Anderson in THIS who did all our data-crunching and produces the Dashboard
  • Jim Harris who created the poster
  • Nicola Hill OT who did lots of tweeting and general cheerleading