On 1 November a new service was launched to provide specialist overnight care for people in North Warwickshire who are approaching the end of their lives.

Working in partnership, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) and Mary Ann Evans Hospice (MAEH) have developed a rapid response service that will be ready to assess patients and providing the care and support required between 10pm and 8am. To ensure the service can be accessed quickly, a dedicated mobile telephone number will be provided to those living at home or in a care homes that are known to be approaching the end of their lives. Additionally these contact details will be available for a range of health and care professionals such as GPs, ambulance crews and hospitals’ emergency departments.

The service will be staffed by experienced Registered Nurses and Senior Health Care Assistants who have received the necessary training to meet the care needs of people approaching the end of their lives. They will provide advice on physical symptoms like pain and sickness and administer injections to ease these problems if needed. In addition to helping to manage physical symptoms, staff will offer emotional support for patients and their families. They will work to enable people to remain at home if this is their wish and the wish of their family.  This expert care will contribute to an end of life experience for local people that is as comfortable and dignified as possible.

Theresa Bishop, Locality Manager at SWFT said: “We are very excited to be launching this new rapid response overnight service which will start on 1 November 2017. This partnership project will mean that patients will benefit from the combined expertise and close collaborative working of SWFT and MAEH. We believe that this will make a big difference to patients who are coming to the end of their life and enable them to die at home where they have expressed this wish.”

Kay Greene, Director of Clinical Services at MAEH said “The opportunity to help people when they are most in need and at a vulnerable time during the night contributes to the overall Out of Hospital Care Collaborative strategy for providing end of life care across North Warwickshire. The strategy’s focus is to ensure that dying people get the right care, at the right time, in the right place and by the right care giver – we are thrilled to be pioneering this service with our partners SWFT for local people”.