An independent evaluation looking at the impact of a new End of Life Care Coordination Service based at Royal Trinity Hospice has found that patients using this centre are less likely to be admitted to hospital or to die in hospital at the end of their lives.

The evaluation was carried out by research consultancy OPM Group and looked at the impact the centre has had on people approaching the end of their life in Wandsworth, their families and local healthcare professionals.

The study found the centre resulted in avoided admissions and faster discharge from hospital, which could reduce deaths in hospital. The centre was also found to free up clinical time for local healthcare professionals. The evaluation calculated these benefits could amount to potential savings of almost £350,000 to the NHS in the first year of the pilot, although these have to be offset against the cost of delivering the model.

The evaluation also found the centre improved the quality of end of life care through patients and families feeling supported at home and feeling reassured that they will be looked after. The quality of care arranged and provided by the centre was also deemed to be improved.

Dallas Pounds, Chief Executive Officer at Trinity, said, “Most people want to be cared for at home at the end of their lives rather than spending their final days in hospital. We now have evidence to show that the Wandsworth End of Life Care Coordination Centre is helping this become a reality for more people.

We hope other hospices and healthcare providers are able to draw from this evaluation so more people can achieve their final wishes at the end of life.”

Chih Hoong Sin, Director of Business Development at OPM Group, said, “Our evaluation showed that having a dedicated end of life care coordination function underpinned by genuine partnerships, like it does in Wandsworth, brings a degree of seamlessness and quality to the care and support of service users and their family that contributes tangibly to their sense of wellbeing and quality of life.

At the same time, there is intriguing evidence that this model of end of life care coordination contributes towards relieving pressure on acute care and also helping to release clinicians’ time so that they can focus on providing high quality care.”

The Wandsworth Care Coordination Service was designed to address confusion among patients and their families about who to contact for help and support, due to the range of organisations involved in caring for someone approaching the end of their life.

It comprises a 7 day nurse-led coordination team and helpline for patients, families and professionals based at Trinity; a dedicated St George’s End of Life Community Nurse; and a team of Marie Curie Health and Personal Care Assistants who can offer specialised hands-on care at home for people with any terminal illness.

The centre was commissioned by Wandsworth CCG as a two year pilot in February 2015.

To download the report, click here: FINAL_WEOLCCC_evaluation_final_report.pdf