THE re-launch of a lifeline service that prevents unnecessary hospital admissions will ensure patients continue to receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
The Darlington Community Rapid Response Team provides palliative nursing care, discharge support and crisis management for patients with life-limiting conditions in a place of their choice.
Launched in 2011 by St Teresa’s Hospice, in partnership with Marie Curie Cancer Care, the Rapid Response Service has cared for more than 650 patients in their own homes.
Following consultation with Darlington Clinical Commissioning Group, the pioneering scheme will now continue to run as a solely hospice-provided service.
St Teresa’s Community Hospice team leader Helen Wrigley said: “It is widely accepted that most terminally ill patients want to be cared in their own home rather than hospital.
“Since the Rapid Response team was introduced five years ago we have had an extremely positive response from both patients and their families who see it as an invaluable resource.
“Although the scheme will now be run exclusively by St Teresa’s Hospice, patients won’t see any difference in the service they receive; the contact number will remain the same, the nurses will stay the same and we will continue to give the same excellent care and support.”
St Teresa’s Rapid Response Team of registered nurses and healthcare assistants is available 24/7, 365 days a year responding to patients in the community within an hour of their call, providing symptom management and pain relief as well as a hand to hold and a listening ear.
“The small hours are a lonely place and sometimes just knowing someone is there gives great peace of mind to patients,” said Helen.
“Nothing is too much trouble and if it is something that is not directly in our service, such as finance or housing problems, then we can pass it on to other organisations – we never leave a patient stranded.
“Our main aim is to help people live as well and as long as they can in the place where they want to be.”