The Rapid Response service which provides overnight support and care for patients, their families and carers in South Warwickshire launched on 29th April 2019. During its first year from May 2019 to April 2020 the team carried out 1,378 visits and prevented hospital admission or delayed care through 111 for 1,329 patients.
The service operates between 8pm and 8am for those living at home or in care homes that are known to be approaching the end of their lives, and is staffed by experienced Registered Nurses and Senior Health Care Assistants.
It is a collaboration between The Myton Hospices, Shakespeare Hospice, Shipston Home Nursing and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT). Some of the costs to get the service up and running were generously sponsored by Sir John Egan and his wife Lady Egan.
Of the total visits in the first year, 49% were made within 30 minutes of receiving the call and 45% between 30 minutes and 2 hours. The majority of calls have been for pain relief, advice and catheter care. The team also offered end of life assessment, advice or support via a further 522 telephone calls during this period.
The feedback received highlights the difference the service makes to patients and their loved ones during the most difficult time:
They transformed the experience and could not have done more. Their knowledge and compassion was priceless. Without them I would have called an out of hours doctor or struggled with a very distressed dying woman.
The care you provided at all hours of the night was second to none. We simply could not have had our mum at home throughout the last week without you.
Amanda Kyberd , whose mother was cared for by the Rapid Response team said:
Without you I wouldn’t have been able to grant my mum’s last wish to die at home.
Amanda has kindly recorded a video talking about her experience to help raise awareness of the service.
Despite not being able to celebrate their success due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Rapid Response team has continued to provide the best possible end of life care for the local community and has been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to enable people to remain at home if this is their final wish.
Julie Hemming, South Locality Manager for SWFT, added:
Thank you to everyone who has helped to provide such a successful service. Prior to the implementation of Rapid Response many patients expressed their wish to stay in their own homes with their loved ones as they reached the end of their lives. I am very proud that this service has provided all the necessary support and reassurance to make that happen.
Our aim has and always will be to deliver the very best care for our patients by continually looking for new ways to improve the service. Patient experiences and feedback from relatives is fundamental in helping us to achieve this. Thank you to everyone who has taken their time to provide such valuable feedback.
You can contact the Rapid Response team on 07775 016618.