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Hospice launches heart failure service with grant from Hospice UK and St James’s Place Foundation

28 November 2017

Rowcroft Hospice in Torquay has been awarded funding from Hospice UK and St James’s Place Charitable Foundation to help develop specialist care for patients with end stage heart failure.

The new provision will enable Rowcroft to expand its team of Community Nurse Specialists to include a temporary post that will focus on supporting the provision of hospice and supportive care to patients with end stage heart failure.

The grant for the new service totals £37,000, and it will run for a period of 18 months.

This follows on from a report published earlier this year by Hospice UK and the British Heart Foundation in collaboration with the new Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre that highlights how people living with advanced heart failure can benefit from personalised palliative care to help manage their symptoms, plan for the future and vastly improve wellbeing in their final months.

The report found that 60,000 people die of heart failure each year in the UK, but they form only around four percent of people supported by specialist palliative care and hospice teams.

This report, combined with the hospice’s own research, led the Rowcroft team to develop its new service.

Rowcroft’s Director of Patient Care, Gill Horne, explained:

"With this new funding we are beginning an 18 month project to identify patients with end-stage heart failure who may benefit from Rowcroft's services, as well as other local supportive care services, to improve their access to our specialist care.”

“Only 44 patients with heart failure had a referral to Rowcroft Hospice services in 2016-17 from a caseload of circa 900 patients cared for by the local heart failure team.”

“It is our hope that by providing a dedicated service we will be able to benefit up to 250 patients over the course of the project. We believe this will make a huge difference to those individuals who are living with heart failure, and their families.”

The hospice will also lead on a more integrated approach to care and proactively forge local relationships with healthcare professionals in cardiology, primary care and those involved in the care of older people to help support earlier referrals.

Gill said:

“We will also be providing training to the local heart failure team in supporting patients to plan for end of life care, and our hospice teams will receive further training in the management of heart failure. Greater collaboration across different care settings will help us to ensure more people get the right care at the right time."

Mark Hawkins, Chief Executive of Rowcroft Hospice said:

“The report recently published by Hospice UK and the British Heart Foundation highlights inspiring case studies of how hospices are working collaboratively with local cardiology colleagues to have a real impact on people with heart failure. Our focus continues to be on developing services which make a real difference to the lives of local families irrespective of diagnosis or circumstance.”

“Our wish is to extend our reach to enable us to support even more patients and their families when they need us most. Donations and grants such as this from the Hospice UK St James’s Place Charitable Foundation are an important part of securing and developing Rowcroft’s future.”

For more information visit Rowcroft Hospice

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