A ‘highly-valued’ hospice at home service has led to more people being able to die in familiar surroundings, new figures have revealed.
The seven-day programme has been hailed as a ‘key achievement’ by resort health bosses as they revealed their new end-of-life strategy.
“We are very proud that through our previous strategy, we have implemented a highly-valued hospice at home service, broadened our rolling end of life education programme, and supported an increasing number of people to die in their preferred place of care,” a report which went before chiefs on Tuesday said.
The Fylde Coast Hospice at Home service, provided by Trinity Hospice, supports patients and families overnight to manage care at home, including care homes, and is provided from 9pm until 8am every night by two teams of training nurses and healthcare assistants.
They help with a range of nursing needs, including breathing management, nausea and pain, and all aspects of personal care.
They can also prescribe medications to alleviate symptoms, and given advice and support to patients as well as those caring for them.
Since 2009, the number of people from Blackpool dying in hospital has fallen from 56 per cent to 48 per cent, statistics showed.
The number of people dying in a care home increased in the same period by four per cent, to 21 per cent, while deaths at home also increased by four per cent, to 23 per cent.
Hospice deaths remained at six per cent.
The number of people from the Fylde and Wyre areas dying in hospital has dropped from 54 to 46 per cent, while care home deaths increased by seven per cent to 27, and hospice and home deaths remained constant.
“We have achieved this through a truly inspirational partnership between the CCGs (the groups responsible for organising and paying for residents’ healthcare), GPs, Trinity Hospice, district nursing teams, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, and the communities we care for,” the report added.
“However, nearly 50 per cent of deaths on the Fylde coast still take place in hospital and access to timely community interventions remains challenging.
“We therefore have much to do if we are to achieve our ambitions set out in this strategy.”
The new strategy, which will run until 2021, aims to support even more patients by asking where they want to die, and to help care home staff, residents, and families.
A new electronic palliative care system will be brought in, and work will be done so people can access specialist care around the clock.
A Blackpool CCG spokesman said it would capitalise on its success by ‘continuing to support people in their dying wishes.’