A charity which cares for terminally ill people is extending one of its services in a six-month trial.
Shipston Home Nursing (SHN), which looks after people who want to be nursed at home, plans to extend its palliative care service in its 20th anniversary year.
The extension means patients with life-limiting illnesses will be cared for by the charity’s team of qualified nurses earlier.
The early referrals are expected mostly to have a non-cancer diagnosis such as Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s, heart failure and respiratory illness.
An initial pilot, which started in May, will run with Shipston Medical Centre.
Nurse manager at SHN, Janet Oakey, said: “The aim of the extension of the service is to see patients sooner in their illness – both those with cancer and those with other life limiting illnesses – to ensure they receive palliative anticipatory care including advanced care planning in a timely manner.
“Initially, these new referrals will be patients from the Shipston Medical Centre who are identified by their GPs as needing support and guidance in determining what care they would like and where they would like that care to take place.
“There is also an increased emphasis on family support with possible provision of respite visits to enable those caring for the patients to go out without worrying about leaving their loved ones at home on their own.”
She added patients would be assessed and regularly reviewed by SHN’s palliative care team with visit frequency increasing as the patient’s condition deteriorated.
“If the trial is successful and patients and their families are finding the earlier intervention useful, the service will be extended to the other GP practices that SHN covers.
“There will be an ongoing audit throughout the trial period which will include input from patients and their carers.
“This will enable us to determine if we are reaching the right people at the right time and whether our earlier introduction has proved useful in helping them in planning future care.”
More information can be found at www.shipstonhomenursing.co.uk.
SHN started in 1997 and offers a free service in Shipston, Wellesbourne, Kineton and the surrounding villages. It relies on donations from the public.