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New £382,772 service to provide much-needed end-of-life care in South Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 17:37 27 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:56 28 March 2018

South Norfolk CCG has approved a new palliative care service which hopes to save hundreds of thousands of pounds. Photo: Matthew Usher

South Norfolk CCG has approved a new palliative care service which hopes to save hundreds of thousands of pounds. Photo: Matthew Usher

A new £382,772 service will help plug the gap in end-of-life care for conditions such as cancer and dementia in South Norfolk as the area’s population gets older.

A report presented to South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (SNCCG) stated there is an unmet palliative care need across the district and proposed a community-based care service to address this.

The new service would help patients remain in their preferred place of care and reduce “inappropriate and avoidable admissions in the last year and days of their life” to hospitals.

At the moment, the total estimated cost of the service is £382,772 - but is projected to save £426,023 based on current palliative admissions.

Anne Borrows, the SNCCG officer who presented the report, said: “1pc of the population of South Norfolk are expected to die in the next year, which is around 2,290 people.

“This service is not designed for all of them, but those who have an acute and rapid decline at the end of their life.”

She highlighted patients with cancer or complex issues like dementia as those who would benefit from the service, which is expected to start in August in order to be up and running by winter.

The service is proposed as an “invest to save” opportunity, meaning the money put into palliative care in the community would save funds in the long run by reducing emergency admissions for end of life care.

It is based on a three-pronged model of workers consisting of nurses and occupational therapists, healthcare assistants and compassionate communities.

The latter refers to connecting the health and care sector with the voluntary sector and wider community such as Hospice Neighbours and Marie Curie Helpers.

SNCCG governing body member Dr Robert Mallinson said: “This is an interesting piece of work which would benefit so many patients and their families.

“How you cope with the demand will be a massive challenge and we need to ensure this service is accessible to patients in a timely fashion so they do not end up in emergency care.

“In terms of its potential impact, it would be huge and it is so overdue.”

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