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Second phase of palliative care project now live

07/11/2022

The second phase of a project designed to improve palliative care in Oxfordshire and South Northamptonshire is now live.

Hospital Rapid Response is part of a wider project, launched earlier in 2022, with the aim of supporting people at the very end of their life whose choice is to die at home rather than in hospital.

The project is a unique partnership between Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH), Sobell House Hospice Charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, and Social Finance.

OUH, Macmillan, and Social Finance are working together through a social impact bond, which provides up to £6.1m funding to OUH for the project, while Sobell House Hospice Charity has entered into a grant agreement with OUH to provide a grant of up to £4 million.

Hospital Rapid Response aims to facilitate quick support for patients in hospital who are dying, and who have expressed a preference to be at home at the end of their life. The OUH Palliative Care team supports the project by expediting discharge from hospital, and then follows up with domiciliary care from the OUH Home Hospice Care Team and the OUH Community Palliative Care team together with other community services.

Since the launch of the wider project in April 2022, 230 people reaching the end of their lives have been cared for in their own homes.

Dr Victoria Bradley, Clinical Lead for Palliative Medicine at OUH, said: "The initial phase of this project has been a huge success, and I'm delighted that we are now able to progress with subsequent stages. The Hospital Rapid Response project aims to provide rapid support to patients in hospital who are at the end of their life, and get them home safely and quickly and with the right support in place if they would prefer to die there rather than in hospital.

"One of the main drivers of this overall project is to give people control and agency over their palliative care - Hospital Rapid Response is a continuation of this and supports our aims of delivering care closer to home with the right support in place."

Amelia Foster, Chief Executive at Sobell House Hospice Charity, said: "Sobell House Hospice Charity is delighted to be able to help fund this innovative rapid response service that will help more end of life patients die at home, if that is their choice. Crucially, it will also reduce non-elective bed days, benefitting the wider population that OUH serves by reducing the capacity issues being reported across the NHS."

Katy Saunders, Director in the Health and Social Care team at Social Finance, said: "Our vision is that death is understood, and dying and grieving are valued as an integral part of all our lives. We are proud to be working with OUH, Macmillan and Sobell House to make this a reality in Oxfordshire. We hope to be able to replicate this innovative service model in other parts of the UK."

David Seychell, Macmillan Senior Manager for Social Investment for End of Life Care, said: "At Macmillan Cancer Support, we want everyone approaching the end of their lives to have their vital needs met by high-quality services and we are very proud to be a part of this collaboration supporting the people of Oxfordshire.

"After the initial success of this work, we are excited to be moving forward with the next phase of a rapid response service that will support early discharge from hospital, enabling people to have greater choice on where they want to be cared for when approaching the end of their lives."

Pictured: Members of the OUH Palliative Care team