Calling NHS 111 option 3 free reaches a palliative care clinical nurse specialist who will help co-ordinate care and provide referrals to relevant services as well as providing medical advice to support patients approaching the end of their lives. Support will also be available for family members, healthcare professionals and carers looking after patients with life-limiting illnesses.
Any adult registered with a GP in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who is living with, or supporting someone with a life-limiting illness, can use the service which is free and available by calling 111 and selecting option 3.
The service will be run by Arthur Rank Hospice Charity (ARHC) in partnership with Herts Urgent Care, and funded by the local NHS, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commission Group (CCG).
The service will initially be available 5pm to 9.30am during the week and 24 hours at weekends and bank holidays. It is planned to be also available during daytime working hours in due course
Professor Stephen Barclay, GP and clinical lead for end of life care at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, said, “I’m pleased we can launch this important new service, which seeks to help local patients and their families access the support and care they need as they approach the end of their lives. Having all the information about services and available help in one place will help patients access the information and support they need more easily, improve patient choice and enhance their quality of life by enabling a more positive experience of care and support.”
Hannah Donald, Clinical Nurse Specialist for Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and one of the team who will be taking calls said “We are delighted this service has been commissioned and have great confidence that it is going to benefit many people within our community. Knowing when, how and who to contact regarding end-of-life care and support can be a cause of anxiety for patients and their loved ones or carers.
"Providing this service available via one central number will help to alleviate this. Furthermore, it will enable patients to access the right level of support or advice relating to their condition quickly as all calls are handled by experienced and qualified professionals in this field.”