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Pioneering end-of-life care programme extended until 2015

January 10, 2014 4:09 PM

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A unique partnership between Marie Curie Cancer Care, British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde is being extended to June 2015 due to its continuing success.

The Caring Together programme, which was officially launched in March 2011, aims to improve the quality and access to palliative care for any patients in the advanced stages of heart failure. Since launching, the programme has already helped more than 230 patients and their families.

Every patient referred to the programme has benefited from a comprehensive assessment of their palliative care needs, a review of their cardiological management, and the allocation of a care manager who coordinates and manages the care for these patients. 

The programme has ensured that heart failure patients with supportive care needs now have access to advice, support and services, including benefits and hospice day services, at an appropriate time in the progression and deterioration of their illness. The referral and support of these patients has been crucial in allowing them to stay in their preferred place of care and avoid hospital admissions where possible. 

As part of the programme’s extension, the provision of care to heart failure patients at the end of their lives will continue as well as the continuation of mentoring and training to support staff involved in their care which has been part of the programme since it began. During the extension the Programme will be evaluated for effectiveness. The programme will continue to fund the lead nurse clinical role and project manager based at the Marie Curie Hospice, Glasgow.

Iain Armstrong, Marie Curie’s Caring Together Programme Manager, said: “Caring Together is a fantastic example of what can be done to improve end of life care for those patients with more complex care requirements. Working in partnership with BHF Scotland and the NHS, this programme has already made a huge difference to lives of those patients and their families who have benefited from these services. With this 18 month extension, the programme will now help more patients in the advanced stages of heart failure, whilst enabling the programme partners to provide a more detailed evaluation of the programme’s impact.” 
Marjory Burns, Director of BHF Scotland, added:
“Caring Together is an innovative programme for patients with advanced heart failure that supports the Scottish Government's action plan for palliative care services, Living and Dying Well, which calls for a more equitable provision of end of life care services for patients with any advanced, progressive or incurable condition across all care settings.  This partnership is showing the way in terms of a service that patients and their families really appreciate.”


Media Contact
Weber Shandwick
Stacey Blevins / Gaynor Daniel
Tel: 0131 556 6649
E-mail: [email protected] / [email protected]

Notes to Editors

Marie Curie is the leading charity providing care to people with any terminal illness in their own homes or in one of its nine hospices. The charity is also a leader in research into the best ways of caring for people with a terminal illness. In addition to this the charity designs and advises on end of life services and works to ensure that the best possible care and patient choice is at the heart of commissioning end of life care across the UK.  All Marie Curie services are completely free of charge. Around 70% of the charity’s income comes from donations with the balance of funds coming from the NHS.

British Heart Foundation Scotland
Coronary heart disease is Scotland’s single biggest killer. For over 50 years we’ve pioneered research that’s transformed the lives of people living with heart and circulatory conditions. Our work has been central to the discoveries of vital treatments that are changing the fight against heart disease. But so many people still need our help. From babies born with life-threatening heart problems to the many mums, dads and grandparents who survive a heart attack and endure the daily battles of heart failure. Join our fight for every heartbeat in Scotland. Every pound raised, minute of your time and donation to our shops will help make a difference to people’s lives.

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Last Updated: 06 February 2015