Specialist palliative care beds for South Oxfordshire patients

Two new specialist palliative care inpatient beds have been introduced at Wallingford Community Hospital in South Oxfordshire, through close partnership working between Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) and charity Sue Ryder Care.

Specialist palliative care beds for South Oxfordshire patients

The service is being delivered by Oxford Health, in partnership with Sue Ryder Care’s ‘Hospice at Home’ service for patients who are approaching their end of life, and who need bed-based care.

The launch of the service means people in the local community who require inpatient palliative care will be able to receive it closer to home. Admissions to the beds will be made through Sue Ryder.

The Sue Ryder team, which includes a clinical nurse team and consultants, will work with  Wallingford Oxford Health ward team, including an end-of-life specialist nurse, GP and Advanced Clinical Practitioner, to provide compassionate and expert palliative care to patients from the local area.

A specialised end-of-life training programme will be developed, which can be rolled out to other teams in the Trust’s community hospitals to increase their knowledge and strengthen skills in end-of-life care.

Pete McGrane, Oxford Health’s Clinical Director of Oxfordshire Community Services, said: “The End-of Life-service represents an investment in local health services for South Oxfordshire and will bring reassurance to patients and families who are going through a difficult time.

“The partnership working between Oxford Health and Sue Ryder will provide skilled, experienced and sensitive care for patients and families.

“I am sure that the service will have a positive effect locally and will also help to inform similar services across a wider area.”

Dr Ed Capo-Bianco, OCCG’s Urgent and Emergency Care Clinical Director, said: “This is a really important development to the service for our patients and their families in South Oxfordshire. It is a new model of care in Oxfordshire, but similar to what has been successfully provided for a number of years in West Berkshire.”

Two beds at Wallingford are dedicated to patients needing end-of-life care or symptom management. They will enhance the range of health services available for residents of South Oxfordshire and form part of a wider provision for palliative and end-of-life care services available to people in South-East Oxfordshire.

The end-of-life care services available include the Sue Ryder Hospice at Home service, Hospital at Home service, community end-of-life care matrons and the Marie Curie Night-Sitting Service. There are also out of hours services ensuring primary care is available 24 hours a day.

The number of beds is based on current data, but if need increases it will be possible to increase the number of beds available.

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Published: 16 December 2021