16 January 2013
Marie Curie Cancer Care back the Frontline First campaign
01 10 2010 | Tom Hughes-Hallett, Chief Executive
Marie Curie’s 2,700 nurses and frontline health professionals care for people with any terminal illness. We believe that even in times of economic uncertainty everyone should have access to high quality care and support at the end of their lives, regardless of diagnosis or where they live. Marie Curie Cancer Care’s nurses support the RCN Frontline First campaign.
What we know from our patients and their families is that most people at the end of their lives want to be cared for at home. In order to help more people die in the place of their choice, our nurses work at the frontline in partnership with the NHS.
This year we have been working with NHS Dorset to run a six-month pilot project. A Marie Curie nurse is working in the PCT Continuing Healthcare department to support the healthcare community to provide responsive and seamless end of life care and to co-ordinate the delivery of individualised care packages. Having a Marie Curie nurse as a point of contact means that, the expertise and knowledge of the Marie Curie Nurse helps shape the care provided to people from NHS, third sector and independent sector providers.
An independent evaluation of the pilot shows that through this partnership approach, the nurse helped NHS Dorset make more efficient use of the money spent on caring for people at the end of life. NHS Dorset was able to provide 15% more care to people while the cost to the NHS decreased by 31%. This shows that frontline staff working in partnership improves patients’ care pathway and produces economic benefits. This helps more people at the end of life to have the care and support they need. NHS Dorset has now made this coordination role permanent.
Most importantly, more people at the end of their lives were able to receive the high quality care they needed, where they wanted it.