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Supporting care home residents with their end of life preferences

Supporting care home residents with their end of life preferences

Date of release: 23 March 2023

A highly skilled team of Nurses and Paramedics has engaged with more than 2000 care home residents across Wolverhampton as part of improvements to palliative and end-of-life care. 

The Care Home Team, which is currently funded by donations from local charity supporters, was established by Compton Care following the roll out of the Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment (ReSPECT). 

Latest News: Louise Greenaway - Compton Care
Louise Greenaway, Care Homes, Night support and Advice and Referral Team Leader

Building on the success of the team and supporting its expansion, the One Wolverhampton partnership has funded an additional Nurse as part of the local winter plans. This brings the team to a total of six supporting 70 nursing and residential care homes across six Primary Care Networks.  

The team works closely with residents, their families and care home staff to develop a personalised care plan and document their preferences for end-of-life. This includes recommendations about their care and treatment as well as where they would prefer to die in the event they are unable to express their own wishes. 

Sian Thomas, Interim Partnership Director for OneWolverhampton, said: “The work that Compton’s Care Home Nurses do is so important in helping the partnership achieve its priorities around palliative and end-of-life care for the people of Wolverhampton. Enabling residents to make informed decisions about their treatment, including how and where they would like to be cared for as they near the end of life, is so important.  Not only does it mean that professionals are able to access information that can help them make immediate decisions about that person’s care in an emergency situation, it also means they are able to ‘respect’ their wishes while doing so and in most cases avoid unwanted and unnecessary interventions including hospital admissions.”

Rachel Overfield, Chief Executive Officer for Compton Care, said “We are really proud of the work this team have done to establish relationships with the care homes, the residents and their families. The charity funded this team to support care homes and residents in discussing and documenting important treatment and personal preferences for their care.  The additional funding from OneWolverhampton to expand this team further over the winter months has been well received and supported keeping our residents in the place they want to be. Care home staff are so grateful for the specialist clinical support with their complex residents and the feedback we have had from loved ones and family members shows that they absolutely value and appreciate the support they get from the team. The team work very closely with GPs, District Nurses and other professionals to ensure the residents receive highly skilled, personalised care as they approach end of life.”

Louise Greenaway, Care Homes, Night Support and Advice and Referral Team Leader for Compton Care, said: “Having a dedicated team in place allows us to spend the time to build relationships with residents and their families and have in-depth conversations about their wishes which is such an important part of this process. When ReSPECT was rolled out across the city some of the initial feedback was that the time taken to complete the forms properly was an issue and that’s why this team was developed. So far, the initial response from both staff at the care homes and the residents and families has been really positive. They are really pleased to be able to have these conversations in a safe space with qualified professionals who can spend the time needed with them and support them to have what is, inevitably, a difficult conversation.”

Feedback from GPs has been really positive with the service ensuring fully documented plans which enable more informed clinical decision-making whilst taking into consideration residents’ preferences. 

The funding of the additional Nurse has also proven successful in enabling residents to stay in their preferred place for care. 

Over a three-month period this service has contributed to a decrease in 800 ambulance conveyances to hospital and 60 hospital admissions across the sector.

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