Our Winter Bed Pressure Project looked at the role of specialist palliative care in the community and how we can reduce hospital admissions and re-admissions for patients with palliative care needs, with particular focus on nursing homes. 

Since the pandemic, health and care services have been under more pressure than ever before. And the need to keep hospital admissions for urgent and emergency cases has never been greater.  

Last year, we set out to build relationships with local nursing homes to identify how we could help educate and support them in caring for their palliative care residents. As a result, we ran a series of formal training sessions for nursing home staff to attend. But with staff shortages across the care sector, it became clear that that it was difficult to run sessions outside of the nursing home. 

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Louise is driving the nursing home project and was keen to fill us in on the latest developments. Louise shared her experience at the Hospice UK National Conference with fellow palliative care professionals last year. 

“So this year, I am taking the learning opportunities to the nursing homes rather than them coming to us! The ‘Roadshow’, involves me spending whole days at each of the fourteen nursing homes in Milton Keynes over the next 6 months.” 

Louise told us a bit more about how the day would work;

“Resources and mini workshops will be available throughout the day on an informal ‘drop in’ basis, on topics relating to end-of-life care and symptom management. There will be a particular focus on how to avoid inappropriate hospital admissions for those patients who wish to be cared for in their home, particularly at the end of their life.” 

“It has been such a pleasure to work more closely and face to face with care homes again, after so many months of remote working throughout the pandemic, and I am looking forward to continuing and improving collaborative working practices together in the future.” 

It’s clear that Louise is very passionate about the project and it’s just one of the many ways we ensure our patients die well at home, wherever home is.