Launch of new integrated 24 hour End of Life Care Service for Greenwich

Beth Williams, General Manager Integrated Community Teams in Greenwich (far right), alongside Lesley Strong, Director of Greenwich Community Health Services, with colleagues from Marie Curie and Bexley and Greenwich Community Hospice at the launch.
Beth Williams, General Manager Integrated Community Teams in Greenwich (far right), alongside Lesley Strong, Director of Greenwich Community Health Services, with colleagues from Marie Curie and Bexley and Greenwich Community Hospice at the launch.

A new service partnership between Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice, Marie Curie Cancer Care and Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust has been launched. The new service, called the Greenwich Care Partnership, was officially launched on International Nurses Day, Florence Nightingale’s birthday on Thursday 12 May at Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice in Abbey Wood, London.

The Greenwich Care Partnership is a new integrated service that operates alongside and supports existing core services such as GPs and District Nurses to provide high quality care for patients with end of life care needs in the London Borough of Greenwich. The service aims to reduce inappropriate hospital admissions and enable more patients to be cared for and to die in their place of choice.

The partnership, which is the first of its kind in south east London, results from Marie Curie Cancer Care’s Delivering Choice Programme in south east London, a service redesign programme which aims to help local care providers and commissioners to develop the best care and support services for people at the end of life, their families and carers.

The new integrated nurse-led service aims to put dying people (aged 18 or over) and their families at the centre of care, empowering patients and their carers to stay at home if that is what they wish and supporting them around the clock by providing health care assistants from 8am – 8pm to provide help with personal care, short breaks for carers and practical tasks.

A new Rapid Response Service will also mean registered nurses will be available from 4pm – 8am, 7 days/nights a week on the end of the phone or to visit people should they need support, advice or nursing care, enabling responsive end of life care in the community during the out of hours period. It is hoped that this new service will enable more people to be cared for in their place of choice and reduce unnecessary and often distressing hospital admisscions.

The service also includes a new Palliative Care Coordination Centre, ensuring seamless coordinated care for patients and their carers, as well as a new 24/7 single contact number to enable them to have direct access to services and support.

Lesley Strong, Director of Greenwich Community Health Services, said: “This partnership is a fantastic example of how we can improve the patient experience by working with local partners. If this new initiative helps to enhance the quality of life for these patients, then it has been a success.”

The service is available to people with a variety of life-limiting conditions such as cancer, dementia, motor neurone disease, heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, in the last year of life.

For more information, visit www.communityhospice.org.uk/greenwich-care-partnership and to get help from the service call 020 8320 5794.

Notes for editors

1. About Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice provides specialist palliative care and support services for people with life limiting illnesses, as well as providing support for their families and carers. It is the only hospice service in the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Bexley covering an area of 40 square miles and a population of 445,200. www.communityhospice.org.uk


2. About Marie Curie Cancer Care
Marie Curie Cancer Care is best known for its network of Marie Curie Nurses working in the community to provide end of life care, totally free for patients in their own homes. www.mariecurie.org.uk


3. The Marie Curie Delivering Choice Programme The Marie Curie Delivering Choice Programme, pioneered by Marie Curie Cancer Care, aims to help local providers and commissioners of care develop the best possible care services so that more people with a terminal illness have genuine choice in their place of care at the end of their lives. http://deliveringchoice.mariecurie.org.uk

Published on 20th May 2011 News Release