17. May 2012 14:22
A new service to coordinate 24-hour palliative care in Bedfordshire has been commended for improving patients’ experience during the difficult phase of end of life care.
The Bedfordshire Partnership for Excellence in Palliative Support (PEPS) Coordination Centre is an innovative venture between NHS Bedfordshire, local health and care services and the national charity Sue Ryder.
It is the first point of contact for patients, families, carers and healthcare professionals who require 24-hour advice and support for palliative care.
The service is being piloted across the country and has also attracted national interest. The Centre will host a visit from DH leaders working on an end of life care strategy later this month.
Launched in December last year, more than 360 local people have already registered to use the service.
Sarah Martin-Merchant, Care Centre Manager at Sue Ryder-St John’s Hospice, said that the majority of people like to remain at home during their palliative care.
“The PEPS Service brings organisations together to deliver this care, including that needed out-of-hours, which is in line with patients’ preferences and choices,” she said.
“By working as a partnership, PEPS aims to minimise the need for hospital admission by providing more end of life care at home and to improve continuity of care for patients, their families and carers.”