Every evening, the Roaming Team – a Hospice at Home registered nurse and healthcare assistant – respond to calls from families with a one-off request for support. They can visit up to seven patients living across Derby and Southern Derbyshire each evening.
Supporting patients who choose to die at home
Supporting patients who choose to die at home, with their loved ones around them, is very important to us as Teresa Smith, our Hospice at Home manager, explained:
Our dedicated Hospice at Home nurses care for patients at home in their last few days of life. It means that families and carers can get sleep, knowing their loved one is being looked after.
"For many years, we recognised that some families don’t need our nurses with them throughout the whole night; they can organise family members to sit with their loved ones each evening so everyone can get a break.
"But there are still times when these families need our help. Their loved one can wake in pain and it can feel impossible to make them comfortable. It can be difficult to help them back into bed or their condition can deteriorate.
The Roaming Nurse Service was our answer to the problem
“In these situations, a family would previously have called the 111 out-of-hours service provided by Derbyshire Health United. They (111) would assess the situation and send a District Nurse. This could mean a stressful delay as the service is extremely busy.
“When COVID struck, we knew the NHS would face increasing pressures on its services. We knew we had to help and the Roaming Nurse Service was our answer to the problem.”
To date, our nurses have made almost 1,500 visits to patients at home, saving hundreds of call-outs from the 111 service. It has also prevented unnecessary and stressful hospital admissions for our patients at a time when the NHS was under intense pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Highlights the demand for our care and how important it is to local people
“To be officially recognised for our Roaming Nurse Service is just wonderful and it helps to highlight the demand for our care and how important it is to local people.”
Our Roaming Nurses drive an Avensis Auto Tourer Estate thanks to a kind loan from Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK. The Service was originally funded through a grant of £100,000 from Barclays 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Aid Package. A grant of £213,000 from Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity and NHS Charities Together will fund the service for 18 months until March 2022.