Marie Curie Fife service: offering expert support at home

In Fife, Marie Curie has been commissioned to provide a range of home-based support for people living with a terminal illness and those who care for them. The result is better patient experience at reduced cost.

The challenge: reducing hospital admissions in a rural area

NHS Fife wanted to ensure each and every person in the area had access to tailored end of life care delivered at home. With a large older population, and some very rural areas across the patch, avoiding hospital admissions wherever possible was an important aim.

The solution: care at home

A fully integrated Hospice at Home service was launched, run with Marie Curie. Complementing and consolidating existing end of life provision, the service offers care at home – so preventing hospital admissions in the event of a crisis, and supporting speedy discharge in the event of an admission.

The service is delivered by a team of nurses, healthcare assistants and trained volunteers. Together they can offer a variety of nursing, emotional and practical support: everything from helping patients manage symptoms, to help with meals, to a weekly chat.

The outcome: more likely to die at home

People supported by the service:

  • experienced 40 per cent fewer hospital admissions
  • had 68 per cent fewer visits to A&E
  • were two and a half times more likely to die at home.

The project reduced hospital costs for end of life care by £182,283.

Delivering community-based care through a local team and in a coordinated way made a lot of sense to us. We’ve been pleased with the response to the service so far and look forward to continuing to work together for the benefit of patients and their families.
Karen Nolan, NHS Fife

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