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Scheme sees dying wishes honoured for Brighton and Hove terminally ill
More than three-quarters of terminally ill people in Brighton and Hove are able to die where they want to.
The Martlets Hospice in Hove and the Sussex Community NHS Trust began working together earlier this year on the Palliative Care Partnership.
The scheme provides, via a helpline, specialist advice, care and support for patients in their own home, seven days a week.
They help patients and their families cope with the challenging demands of an advanced illness and ensure their choices are respected.
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Since the launch in April, 80% of patients ended their lives in a place they wanted to be.
Hospice chairwoman Caroline Lower said the partnership gave local people a real choice about the kind of care they need and where they need it.
She said: “At the Martlets we want to provide the best possible care to those dying in our community.
“Working with the SussexCommunity NHSTrust has meant we’re able to reach increasing numbers of people who need end of life care.
“In line with research carried out by Marie Curie we’re seeing more patients choosing to be cared for at home.
“Last year, the hospice cared for nearly 700 patients and of them 174 were able to die with dignity in the comfort of their own home.
“Not everyone wants to die at home or in a hospice, indeed for some patients hospital is their preferred choice.
“Our medical staff work with patients to make their end of life care wishes clear, enabling them to do their utmost to care for patients as they wish.”
Simone Ali, Sussex Community NHS Trust’s consultant in palliative medicine, said: “We’ve already had nearly 500 new referrals to the partnership and receive on average about 50 calls per day to our helpline.
“Many of our calls are from patients looking for advice on symptom management but as important are the key conversations that we’re able to have with patients and their families about how they’d like to be cared for in the future.”
The partnership provides a central point of contact, offering advice and support to patients and their families.
The phone line is open 365 days a year.
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