Plans for a better range of end of life care services have been agreed by NHS leaders in South Tyneside today.
The Governing Body of South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) approved a £1.5 million annual investment, which will provide improved end of life services for people who prefer to die at home, as well as a suite of ‘home from home’ end of life bedrooms at Haven Court in South Shields.
Matt Brown, the CCG’s Executive Director of Operations, said: “This is another important step towards our vision for a better range of services, so that more people can choose where to spend their last days, knowing that high quality support will be on hand.
“Right now, there are no end of life beds in South Tyneside. Today’s decision means that can change.
“Haven Court can offer homely private bedrooms with en suite facilities, in a calm and dignified environment. Being close to the hospital, it will also help us to recruit staff and coordinate end of life services better.
“But the ‘home from home’ bedrooms are just part of the service. I want to thank the dedicated teams who are already providing palliative care and social care in people’s homes and in care homes. Today’s investment means that they can continue to improve services for us all.
“Around 50% of deaths take place in hospital, with 30% at home, 15% in care homes and 4% in hospices. All of those people are important to us, and they all deserve a high standard of care, wherever they choose to be.”
Dr Tarquin Cross is a member of the CCG’s Governing Body representing secondary care. Dr Cross said: “As a hospital doctor, I have cared for many patients in the last days and hours of their lives. The most difficult moments often come when someone wants more than anything to be at home, but we don’t have the necessary services available to make that happen. This new model will change all that and help more patients to have the best possible experience, in the place they want to be.”
Haven Court is a state-of-the-art building in its own separate area on the South Tyneside hospital site. Purpose-built to provide care services, it has a private garden, and its own separate car park and entrance.
The ‘home from home’ bedrooms will benefit from a dedicated family and carer suite with catering facilities, so that people can be close by their loved ones. The CCG also aims to develop services like physio and occupational therapies, complementary therapies, counselling and a chaplaincy service.
Matt Brown added: “End of life care matters to us all, and we want everyone to have high quality care and a good death. That’s why we want the service based on secure NHS funding, so that the service doesn’t have to rely on fundraising at what is a really difficult time for charities.
“People have told us they want more choice, and high quality services at the end of their lives, and today we have taken a big step towards that.”
The plans are available to download at www.southtynesideccg.nhs.uk.