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MP calls for home hospice care in the South Lakes

May 24, 2012 10:23 AM

Tim and the Lib Dems at WGHLocal MP Tim Farron has today launched a major new campaign to try and bring 'hospice at home at night' services to the South Lakes.

Tim has written to Dr Hugh Reeve asking him to bring in this vital service. Hugh as the Chair of the GP consortia which has the role of commissioning services for patients in South Lakeland.

Nursing care and support would be offered to adults with cancer or other advanced illness following an assessment, which is normally undertaken by a Macmillan Nurse or the Hospice Nurse Team Leader. Care is then given to patients in their own homes, which can include Residential Care Homes, Nursing Homes and Community Hospitals.

Nurses stay all night or for agreed hours during the day, and they work alongside family doctors and district nurses. Home nursing can be provided in crisis situations, when end of life is near, or for periods of respite care to lessen the ongoing stress of caring. It can help enable patients to remain in their own homes if that is where they want to be.

Currently after 7pm there is no hospice at home service in the South Lakes. Each time a person has to call out an ambulance or get emergency help over night it costs the NHS around £3,000.

Currently there is a 'hospice at home at night' being run in Barrow which cares for 200 people a year. Estimates put the potential savings of a 'hospice at home at night' service for South Lakes at around £1 million a year for the NHS.

Tim commented: "Our campaign to bring cancer treatment services has gone fantastic well, we now have chemotherapy services at Westmorland General and we are far down the road to bring radiotherapy as well. But for me I want to bring high quality palliative care to our area too. I think 'hospice at home at night' would be a fantastic addition to our local health services. I hope that GP commissioners back this campaign and agree to look at the feasibility of bringing this service to the South Lakes."