Two nurses from St Barnabas Hospice have seen a 50% increase in end-of-life patient numbers since joining forces with Lincolnshire County Council and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Last year, St Barnabas Hospice was approached by Adult Social Care at Lincolnshire County Council to work in partnership and improve end-of-life care in Lincolnshire hospitals. In November 2019, two St Barnabas nurses began brand new roles working as Community Care Nurse Specialists in Lincoln County and Boston Pilgrim.
Ashleigh Robinson (Lincoln) and Holly Musgrave (Boston) now work with hospital patients to help identify those who are likely to be entering the final year of their life and quickly ensure that they get the help they need. They can give patients psychological support, help with their Advance Care Plan and talk to them in a calm and informative manner to put them at as much ease as is possible.
Holly, who has worked for St Barnabas Hospice for three years, said, “I have always thought that some patients come to us at the Hospice later than they should, so feel proud that my role means many people at the end of their life are being helped from the point they really need to be. Before I started working for St Barnabas, it was going through a very difficult time of my life. My colleagues immediately made me feel welcome, comfortable and confident again. St Barnabas has helped me change as a person and they are like my family now.”
Ashleigh added, “I have been working for St Barnabas for five years, following a placement in the Lincoln Inpatient Unit. Without the support I have received from the Hospice, I wouldn’t be the nurse that I am today. St Barnabas has fully supported Holly and I in this transition to new roles away from our colleagues and I am so grateful to them.”
In the first seven months of their roles (from November 2019 to June 2020), they have supported an incredible 261 patients to access end-of-life care sooner. This is a phenomenal increase of 50% in patient numbers. They have also forged a close relationship with the Neighbourhood teams, linking them together with St Barnabas Hospice for the good of the Lincolnshire community.”
Holly said, “It is a huge step forward for end-of-life care in Lincolnshire to have these roles in place and the numbers already show just how many people might not have accessed the right care early on without our support. We are both so passionate about end-of-life care, so these new roles are inspiring us to keep learning and improving the care we give.”
Ashleigh added, “It has really surprised me how many people we have been able to reach so far. I’m so excited to be learning more, broadening my skills and spreading the specialist St Barnabas knowledge of end-of-life care.”
Kerry Bareham, Nurse Consultant at St Barnabas Hospice, said, “I am so proud of Holly and Ashleigh for embracing their new collaborative roles within the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust. They are wonderful ambassadors for the Hospice and I know they will continue with great levels of success in the future.”
Andrea Kingdom, Interim Area Manager for Hospitals and CSC at Lincolnshire County Council said, “Our Adult Social Care teams at Pilgrim and Lincoln have been delighted to welcome the Community Care Nurse Specialists to our team. Working together, we have been able to increase the recognition of people with palliative and end-of-life care needs. This means we have been able to ensure they and their families and carers are offered the right care and support in the community, at the right time.”