It has been a year since the St Luke’s crisis team expanded their services out into East Cornwall and things are looking hopeful for the future of the pilot project.
The pilot initiative which was launched in August last year, saw us expand our care for terminally ill patients who need a 72 hour window of specialist help at home to stabilise symptoms, avoid any unnecessary admission to hospital or facilitate rapid discharge from hospital or our specialist unit. Infact, all hospital and specialist unit patients known to St Luke’s, will now automatically receive contact or a visit by the crisis team post discharge.
The team has been working in close partnership with other community health and social care providers in East Cornwall to enhance end of life care services and offer solutions to crisis situations where a patient does not have care arrangements in place.
Crisis Team lead nurse, Sharon Smerdon said, “In the last year we have had a steady referral rate from East Cornwall and some very appropriate referrals to facilitate discharges from Derriford. Since June we have followed up discharges from the specialist unit and in August have started to follow up on those discharged from Derriford – this includes all patients known by the St Luke’s team in both the Western locality of NEW Devon and those in East Cornwall. We are still working with commissioners over funding for the continuation of the project and remain hopeful of this for the future.”
Since the expansion of our services last year our crisis team have also launched a Patient Centred Leadership project in East Cornwall, to encourage communities to come together in care by exploring new creative ways of building up a solid network of care for the patient. This involved developing a steering group, holding a two day programme for the nurses of the crisis team and three community nurses from Cornwall and developing processes and paperwork to assist with identifying patients and carer networks and enabling them to deliver end of life care themselves.