About the project
Marie Curie and the British Heart Foundation worked in partnership on the Better Together project to deliver better patient care to advanced heart failure patients in Poole, Bournemouth, Bradford and Airedale.
This two-year pilot project, which concluded in 2009, provided a service that combined the expertise of two sets of nurses – the British Heart Foundation Heart Failure Specialist Nurses and Marie Curie Nurses and Healthcare Assistants.
The nurses worked closely together, providing hands-on care to meet the health and social care needs of heart failure patients who were identified as approaching the end of their lives and were being cared for at home.
Why the Better Together project?
Heart failure is a chronic condition with increasing prevalence. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalised and many experience distressing symptoms which can have a significant impact on their quality of life.
Despite recent improvements in medication and care pathways for heart failure, prognoses tend to be poorer compared with many common cancers.
In addition, supportive and palliative care services for patients with heart failure are not widely available.
Patients with chronic heart failure often spend much of their last months of life in hospital, which is usually not what the patient or their family wants.