Gwent making strides in care of the dying
1:50pm Monday 6th August 2012 in News
DEVELOPMENTS in palliative care services in Gwent are making big differences to quality of life for patients nearing the end of their lives.
The role of healthcare support workers, and the work of Aneurin Bevan Health Board’s fast track discharge service, are among a series of developments introduced as part of a five-year plan to make palliative care in Gwent the best.
Healthcare support workers (HCSWs) have been introduced as part of the specialist palliative care hospital team, to help deliver nursing and supportive care for patients and relatives.
They are assisting in managing patients’ anxiety and promoting relaxation using techniques such as complementary therapies.
Testimonials from patients included in a progress report to the health board on palliative care services, highlight the HCSWs’ work spending time with patients helping them wash and relax, and providing reassurance.
The fast track discharge service is proving vital in helping patients in hospital, but who wish to die at home, go home as quickly as possible.
Aseven-days-a-week service, it involves palliative care staff working with the complex care team, the ambulance service, district nurses and the voluntary sector to enable same-day discharge for those whose condition deteriorates quickly.
There is also a focus on support for cancer survivors, through a link with MacMillan Cancer Support.