New Fife service offers tailored care and support, at the right place and time

By Diana Hekerem Divisional Business and Service Development Manager for Scotland Diana-Hekerem_resizedHigh-quality care for terminally ill people should be available in the community and delivered by different organisations working closely together. Marie Curie’s strong relationship with the NHS and local partners allows us to have the opportunity to pilot new ways of working to meet people’s needs. In Fife, we’ve been developing a new service with NHS Fife to help us provide people with tailored care and support at home, at the time they need it. So I’m really delighted that, today, we’re launching the Marie Curie Fife Service, a new service we are piloting in Fife for two years starting this April. The Marie Curie Fife Service is different because of how it is delivered. We’re enabling patients in Fife to have access to a range of Marie Curie support including nursing care, personal care, emotional support and practical information – with just one referral through a single point of contact. How does it work?When a patient is referred to our service, an experienced Marie Curie Senior Nurse discusses with the patient their individual needs – involving their family and district nurse too – before arranging Marie Curie services for them. Patients and their families can also ask directly for one-to-one support from specially trained volunteers. This means the type of support given will depend on what works best for the patient and their family. Our Marie Curie Fife Service will offer three types of support in people’s homes:


Health and personal care support after discharge from hospital


We know from experience that the period following a hospital discharge is usually a time of high anxiety, when the patient and their family are likely to need extra support and reassurance. Our Marie Curie Health and Personal Care Assistants make sure people can manage when they return home, as they provide not just nursing care but vital practical support such as help with washing, dressing and preparing a simple meal.


24/7 nursing care and support


To help patients remain at home, our Marie Curie Nurses and Healthcare Assistants are available anytime, any day of the week, to give hands-on care – for a few hours in the daytime and evening, or throughout the night to allow carers to get some rest. They also provide emotional support and advice – someone the patient and their family can discuss their questions or concerns with.


Companionship, emotional support and practical information


If the patient or their family would like a friendly ear, our specially trained Marie Curie Helper volunteers can provide weekly home visits. Our volunteers can offer companionship, useful information on further support, a short break for the carer or just simply being there for them. We know from our research that such support is very much valued by patients and their families – and how it can have a positive effect on their emotional wellbeing. At Marie Curie, we want to make it possible for more patients to spend their last days or weeks in the comfort of their own home, and we’re truly excited that, with this new service, we could potentially support 280 patients and their families in Fife each year – double the number of people we currently care for in the area. Find out more about the service   or email fifeservice@mariecurie.org.uk