Reflecting on our palliative care work: thoughts from Sandra Campbell

 

Sandra presenting
Sandra presenting at our recent learning event on identification.

Our Nursing National Clinical Lead for Palliative and End of Life Care, Sandra Campbell, reflects on a year of supporting the Living Well in Communities palliative care work.

What a year! I have loved every minute! Unfortunately the secondment is only one day a week, but fortunately I am able to be flexible with time. I am certainly very grateful to my line manager in my substantive post as Nurse Consultant for Cancer and Palliative Care in NHS Forth Valley for that.

The main purpose of the clinical lead role is to support the Living Well in Communities Team within the ihub at Healthcare Improvement Scotland to deliver on Commitment 1 of the Strategic Framework for Action on Palliative and End of Life Care 2016-2021:

  • Identification of need
  • Coordination of care

The programme has six test sites across Scotland: Dundee, Glasgow City, Perth and Kinross, East Ayrshire, Fife, Western Isles, and Renfrewshire.

Reflecting back to April 2017, it was hard to imagine how these individual projects would evolve, but it has been amazing to see them unfold due to excellent local leadership within each of the Health and Social Care Partnerships, the guidance and support of assistance improvement advisors in each area and the support of the Living Well in Communities team.

Dr Paul Baughan and I, as clinical leads, have supported from a clinical advisory aspect. A Palliative Care Identification Tools Comparator resource has been developed and is available to support teams in understanding the various tools that can support the identification of palliative care. Paul has supported two webex education sessions, and I will be delivering a webex on the key principles in Caring for People in the Last Days of Life and how this relates to coordination of care.

The test sites will test some of these tools, which will inform wider learning across Scotland. This work will be developed further to inform a resource for care staff in care homes on how and when to use particular tools at different trigger points. Three events will share this learning: the first of which took place on the 31st May (and really saw the Strategic Framework for Action for Palliative and End of Life Care come to life) and a further two are planned for October 2018 and March 2019.

All of the work fits perfectly with the agenda in Realising Realistic Medicine, supporting anticipatory care planning that ultimately enables the right thing to be done at the right time, by the right person, to the right quality standard, with the right outcome.

What is needed is:

  • Good assessment and care planning
  • Good decision making
  • Good care
  • Good quality of life until death
  • Good death
  • Good bereavement

The opportunity for the test sites on the project is to try out different ways of working to improve care and make best use of resources available. Enhancing the generalist support is vital if we are to ensure as many people as possible can remain in their own homes as long as possible.

Other developments

New guidance to support Confirmation (previously verification) of Death will be available shortly from the Scottish Government.

Macmillan has supported projects within the test sites with funding of £120,000.

Macmillan and the Scottish Ambulance Service are in early conversations about developing a national project to improve end of life care and prevent inappropriate admission to hospital and reduce inappropriate CPR.

A key aspect of the clinical lead role is to engage with other stakeholders and we do this on an ongoing basis. People and organisations we have engaged with include:

I have also set up a nurse leads group – now reporting to the Scottish Government, SEND and SPPC. We have a practical work plan that includes bereavement. This group is about sharing best practice across all areas. Standardising care at end of life is helpful to teams and welcomed in the absence of a framework such as the Liverpool Care Pathway.

In caring for the dying patients and those close to them, it is important that staff provide care in accordance with the key principles, which I discussed in an earlier blog post.

You can follow Sandra on Twitter and contact her at 

sandra.campbell2@nhs.net

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Palliative and End of Life Care: Focus on Identification

Michelle Church, Improvement Advisor, reflects on our recent learning event, which explored ways of identifying people who could benefit from a palliative approach to their care.

On 31st May 2018, test site participants from six health and social care partnerships (HSCPs) and key delivery partners across Scotland joined the Living Well in Communities team to learn and share knowledge about tools that can support identification of people who could benefit from a palliative approach to their care.

Making the case for early identification

Kirsty Boyd, consultant and lecturer in Palliative Medicine, talked about the many benefits of earlier identification:

  • Helps people say what matters to them.
  • Increases the opportunity for people to participate in decision-making.
  • Reduces the risk of later regrets and poor outcomes.
  • Gives people time for planning ahead, resulting in fewer crises.
  • Reduces unplanned admissions of low benefit.
  • Encourages medication review and treatment planning.
  • Improves continuity and coordination of care by sharing information.

 How can we do earlier identification?

Our national clinical leads, Dr Paul Baughan and Sandra Campbell, gave an overview of the visual resource the LWiC team have developed to help compare different identification tools that are currently used in Scotland. Sandra did a before and after survey of how aware and confident participants were about the variety of tools.

How did we mobilise knowledge?

Experts from across the UK shared their tools, knowledge and experience of doing identification. People got the chance to participate in interactive workshops looking at the tools that a number of palliative care test sites. Some insights from the sessions are included below:

Anticipal and eFI electronic tools

FAST and PPP tools

PPS and SPAR Tools

SPICT4ALL and carers identification

What did people think of the event?

People felt that they had learnt about why, when and how to use different tools to support identification and inform practice. People really liked that they had the chance to network with experts and colleagues.

Overwhelmingly, the take home message was that earlier identification and communication is key to supporting those who would benefit from a palliative approach to their care.

What did you likeTake home message

What next?

HSCP palliative care test sites are now using the comparator to consider what tools will benefit local people and services and how people identified can be supported. This work will contribute to the vision that by 2021 everyone who could benefit from palliative care will have access to it and will support the Realistic Medicine ambition of shared decision-making and a personalised approach to care.

Reflecting on our palliative care work: thoughts from Paul Baughan

Paul Baughan 2Dr Paul Baughan, our palliative care GP clinical lead, discusses the benefits of early palliative care, highlights a resource that we’ve developed to compare different palliative care identification tools, and looks ahead to future work on care planning and care coordination.

Having worked within General Practice for over 20 years, I have seen the transition from hospital-based care to community care for a wide variety of clinical conditions and diseases. We look after many more people who are living with complex medical diagnoses well into their 80s, 90s and beyond. It can be difficult to identify when a palliative approach to care should be considered, and as a result we sometimes find ourselves on the back-foot, reacting to events and changes in clinical condition. Often, with the benefit of hindsight, it might have been possible to anticipate and plan for these episodes before they happen.

This is one of the reasons that I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with Healthcare Improvement Scotland and five test sites across Scotland (Dundee, East Ayrshire, Fife, Glasgow, and Perth and Kinross) to explore how we might identify people who could benefit from a palliative approach to their care at a much earlier stage.

Although a variety of different electronic and paper ‘tools’ have been developed by academics to help identify those who might benefit from a palliative approach to their care, it can be confusing to know which tool to use, and in which situation. Some are electronic, some are designed for particular diseases such as cancer or dementia, or for particular settings such as care homes.  Some tools are intended for health professionals and some for the general population. I have therefore enjoyed working with the team in Healthcare Improvement Scotland to design a resource which will help health and social care professionals become more familiar with the different identification tools, and most importantly, decide which one suits them best. Our five test sites have chosen different identification tools to use within their local Health and Social Care Partnerships.

However, identifying those who might benefit from a palliative approach to their care is just the first step.  It is the conversations that follow, between the health and social care professionals and the person, that are important. And then of course the care planning that results from these discussions. This is our next area of focus at Healthcare Improvement Scotland. We are now working with our test sites to explore how best to plan, coordinate and deliver care to those who are living with a progressive life-limiting condition.

This is an exciting phase of our work, as each test site is considering innovative and practical ways to provide this care within existing resources, and across health and social care. We will have the opportunity to share some of the learning from across Scotland in the Autumn, with the full outcomes from our test site projects available in 2019.

Back at my own general practice, my colleagues and I will continue to see an increase in the number of people with complex progressive life-limiting conditions in the years ahead. Therefore, the outcomes from the five test sites will be very relevant to the work that we do on a daily basis. We know that a proactive, multi-professional, care planning approach is required, and eagerly await advice from the test sites regarding how best to achieve this.

There’s No Place Like Home: Living Well in Communities at the NHSScotland Event

The Living Well in Communities team held two workshops at the NHSScotland Event, which took place at the SECC on 14th-15th June 2016. These sessions explored initiatives from Health and Social Care Partnerships across Scotland that are helping people to spend more time at home or a homely setting that would otherwise have been spent in hospital.

We’ve put together a Storify of the tweets from the sessions.

The sessions were chaired by Susanne Miller, Chief Officer for Strategy, Planning and Commissioning and Chief Social Work Officer for Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership. June Wylie, Head of Implementation and Improvement at Healthcare Improvement Scotland, introduced the Living Well in Communities portfolio and frontline speakers from across the different Living Well workstreams and related areas of work:

  • High Resource Individuals – Anne Palmer, Programme Manager, Connected Care, NHS Borders
  • Frailty and Falls – Rebekah Wilson, Ayrshire and Arran Falls Lead and Falls Community Connector.
  • Anticipatory Care Planning – Janette Barrie, Nationa Clinical Lead (Nursing) Anticipatory Care Planning, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Housing – Maureen Cameron, Manager, Lochaber Care & Repair
  • Intermediate Care and Reablement – Lorna Dunipace (Day 1), Interim Head of Transformational Change (Older People), and Christine Ashcroft (Day 2), Service Manager, Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership
  • Palliative Care – Caroline Sime, Research Fellow University of the West of Scotland and Ardgowan Hospice

Here are some of the themes from the workshops: Continue reading “There’s No Place Like Home: Living Well in Communities at the NHSScotland Event”

Improving Care for People with High Levels of Need

HRI 1 PNG

(Source: Information Services Division Integrated Resource Framework. Data from 2012/13)

The High Resource Individuals team within Living Well in Communities is supporting Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) through a series of data Deep Dives, to understand how those with the highest level of need interact with services.

Thomas Monaghan, Improvement Advisor, from Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s ihub, and Nathan Devereux, Associate Improvement Advisor, have been contributing to the wider work on High Resource Individuals by exploring ways of improving pathways of care, with support from the Local Intelligence Support Team (LIST) and Information Services Division (ISD).

These Deep Dives help partnerships explore their data on these individuals and identify areas for improvement.

Who are High Resource Individuals?

High Resource Individuals (HRIs) are the small number of people who use a high percentage of hospital and community prescribing resources and inpatient bed days.

Continue reading “Improving Care for People with High Levels of Need”