Providing an evolving package of consultant-led services for a Kent-based hospice which was experiencing gaps in provision.
ellenor Hospice has 185 staff and approximately 600 volunteers, who provides support for patients with life limiting conditions across north Kent. As well as a seven-bed adult unit in Gravesend, the team run community services for children and adults, wellbeing services and a Living Well Programme for outpatients and families. In 2019-20, the hospice supported 4,300 new referrals, and carried out 15,824 community visits.
In 2020, as a result of an unexpected gap in provision, the hospice were lacking second-on-call consultant support. Another hospice recommended contacting SCUK, and after reaching out for references, the CEO asked us to take on the role.
Initially, we provided ellenor with second-on-call support, between 5pm and 9am from Monday to Friday, and for 24 hours on weekends and bank holidays. The in-house team felt it was working well, and so when a senior doctor left, they asked us to add in a weekly board round, and MDT meetings with both the inpatient unit and the adult community team. At the time of writing, the CEO is exploring the possibility of increasing our provision further.
The leadership team at ellenor believe that working with us is having a hugely positive impact on staff well-being and multi-disciplinary working. It has taken away the need to recruit a palliative care consultant, which is known to be challenging, and helped the team navigate the Covid-19 pandemic. And doctors and nurses feel well supported and reassured by the ability to reach out to consultants who are experts in palliative care for complex case management.