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Heart Failure Patients to Get Better End of Life Care

March 03, 2011 2:38 PM

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End of life care for heart failure patients in Glasgow and Clyde will be improved thanks to an initiative being launched today, Thursday March 3, at Hampden Park, Glasgow.

Marie Curie Cancer Care, British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are developing an innovative approach to palliative care for heart failure patients in hospital, hospices, care homes and at home.

‘Caring Together’ is a five year programme which aims to improve quality and access to care for local heart failure patients with palliative care needs, as well as giving patients choice in their place of care by improving co-ordination of care among healthcare providers.

Heart failure is one of the most prevalent conditions in Scotland, with an estimated 100,000 people currently living with this condition. Many heart failure patients have unmet palliative care needs.

The Programme’s core elements include:
• Developing ways of identifying heart failure patients entering the palliative care phase and providing a comprehensive assessment of their needs
• Completion of a management and anticipatory care plan in discussion with the patient and appropriate to patient condition and context
• Identification and allocation of a care manager who will be responsible for managing the care of the patient
• An approach to multidisciplinary working
• A learning and development plan in order to support clinical staff in providing palliative care to this group of patients.

Based on these core elements, the programme aims to develop models that will provide seamless care. These will be piloted in three areas: North-East Glasgow, Inverclyde and South-West Glasgow – before being independently evaluated, prior to roll out across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. The evaluation and research of these models will be used to build recommendations for how care can be improved elsewhere in Scotland as well as the rest of the UK.

Peter Hollins, Chief Executive of the BHF, said: “Compared with most cancer patients, people with heart failure often have poorer symptom control and quality of life, and limited access to palliative and social care services. The disease progression and prognosis for such patients varies significantly. We’re delighted to be working with our two partners in Caring Together and we believe this programme really will make a difference to the lives of people with heart failure, their families and carers.”

Thomas Hughes-Hallett, Chief Executive at Marie Curie Cancer Care said: “Good quality palliative and end of life care is vital for patients, families and carers. At the heart of this is enabling people to choose how and where they are cared for but more needs to be done to make sure everyone, regardless of diagnosis, has access to the highest quality of care, in the place of their choice.”

Anne Harkness, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Executive Lead for Palliative Care and Chair of Programme Board, said: “This innovative partnership approach will produce pioneering, palliative care for patients with advanced heart failure.

“It is a sad fact that more people die from heart disease in Glasgow and the surrounding area than anywhere else in the UK so this is a natural location to develop palliative care for these patients.

“An estimated 10,000 people have heart failure in Greater Glasgow and Clyde and around 13 per cent of a heart failure specialist nurse’s caseload will have palliative care needs.

“This is an opportunity to better understand the needs of heart failure patients at the end of life and how we can offer them the physical, emotional and social support that they and their families need.”

Three new appointments have been made to the programme team:
- Consultant Cardiologist Dr Karen Hogg has been appointed in collaboration with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Dr Hogg, who has an interest in heart failure and palliative care, will be supporting the development of the new outpatient and inpatient consultation models at the three pilot sites from early 2011
- Yvonne Millerick has been appointed to the post of Lead Nurse and Senior Lecturer in collaboration with Glasgow Caledonian University. She will be leading in delivering education and training initiatives in palliative care and cardiology for clinical teams across Glasgow and Clyde
- Alexandra Little has been appointed as Programme Manager for Caring Together. Alex joins the team following a long career as a nurse and manager in the NHS. She has many years of experience in long-term condition management both in primary and secondary care, including the development of new services and service redesign

Caring Together is a programme jointly funded by the BHF and Marie Curie Cancer Care, who are each investing £1.8 million.


For more information visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/caringtogether and www.bhf.org.uk/caringtogether

ENDS

For further information:
Amy Edmunds, Marie Curie Cancer Care Public Relations, on 020 7599 7292 or [email protected]

Marjory Wood, British Heart Foundation Scotland Communications Officer (Tues to Fri) on 0131 561 3351, 07850 494 891, or [email protected]
Susan Carden NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications Officer on 0141 201 4432 or [email protected]
Alison Arnot, Glasgow Caledonian University Press Officer, on 0141 331 8670 [email protected]


Notes to editors

Marie Curie Cancer Care is one of the UK’s largest charities. Employing more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, it provided care to more than 31,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in its nine hospices last year and is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS.

Funding
Around 70 per cent of the charity’s income comes from the generous support of thousands of individuals, membership organisations and businesses, with the balance of our funds coming from the NHS.

Marie Curie Nurses
The charity is best known for its network of Marie Curie Nurses working in the community to provide end-of-life care, totally free for patients in their own homes.

Research
The charity provides core funding for two centres for palliative care research, the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Unit at University College London and the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute Liverpool. It also supports palliative and end of life care research through its project grant funding streams, the Marie Curie Cancer Care Research Programme (administered by Cancer Research UK) and the Dimbleby Marie Curie Cancer Care Research Fund.

Supporting the choice to die at home
Research shows around 65 per cent of people would like to die at home if they had a terminal illness, with a sizeable minority opting for hospice care. However, more than 50 per cent of cancer deaths still occur in hospital, the place people say they would least like to be. Since 2004 Marie Curie Cancer Care has been campaigning for more patients to be able to make the choice to be cared for and die at home.

British Heart Foundation
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is the nation’s heart charity, dedicated to saving lives through pioneering research, patient care, campaigning for change and by providing vital information. But we urgently need help. We rely on donations of time and money to continue our life-saving work. Because together we can save the life you love.

The BHF provides support for over 500 cardiac specialist healthcare professionals across the UK. Our healthcare professional programme means we’ve transformed the quality of care available to nearly 400,000 cardiac patients since 2004.

Our DVDs and booklets offer vital information about living with heart failure and how to look after your heart health.

For more information on the BHF, visit bhf.org.uk.

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) is the largest health board in the UK with a budget of £2.6 billion, covering a huge geographical area from East Dunbartonshire to Inverclyde.
Employing 44,000 staff, NHSGGC delivers services in 25 major hospitals, 10 specialist units and 60 health centres and clinics, to a core population of 1.2 million
NHSGGC also provides specialist regional services to more than half of Scotland’s population.
For more information, visit www.nhsggc.org.uk

Glasgow Caledonian University
Glasgow Caledonian University is an international university delivering excellence, with a strong commitment to the common good. The university has particular applied research strengths in health and the environment. It is rated among the top 10 in the UK for its allied health research and in the top 20 for the built and natural environment.
For more information, visit www.gcu.ac.uk

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