Researchers from the Centre for Health Service Studies (CHSS) at the University of Kent together with Pilgrims Hospices and Medway Community Healthcare have developed, piloted and launched a free, online, resource to better support patients that prefer to die at home, and their families.
The Hospice at Home (HAH) toolkit, aimed at hospice at home services, members of the public (including people at the end of their life and their family/friend carers), health and social care commissioners and wider palliative care workers, has been specifically designed to support existing services across England.
Funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS), the toolkit has been developed based on the findings of a recent national evaluation of Hospices at Home in England study that highlighted the key factors which need to come together, so that that the best possible care can be provided for those wishing to die at home.
The toolkit website provides a range of tools and resources including: a service assessment, one-page summaries of research evidence from different audiences and videos on a variety of different topics.
Leading the research, Dr Rasa Mykelyte, Research Fellow at the University of Kent, said:
"The aim of palliative care is to improve the quality of life of people who have an incurable illness, up to the point of death. This includes medical, emotional, social, practical, psychological, and spiritual care, as well as addressing the needs of the person’s family and carers.
"For many people, dying at home is an important priority and our toolkit has been specifically designed for support their choice. It has been co-produced by researchers, service providers, commissioners and members of the public working together from start to finish. So far, we have piloted and tested the toolkit with 10 Hospice at Hospice teams in England and one in Canada, where most people (90%) told us it gave them ideas on how to further optimise their service."
The research team are currently in the process of hosting a series of webinars to help to inform HAH service providers, commissioner, funders, leaders and member of the public about the toolkit. The next session will be held on Tuesday 28 November 12noon-12.50pm. Sign up to the event here.