End of Life Care Together | Highland Hospice

End of Life Care Together

Our Commitment

End of Life Care Together is a partnership of organisations across voluntary, health and social sectors and we’re committed to improving care towards the end of life for all.

Most of us say we would like to be cared for at home towards the end of our lives. But sadly this care isn’t always available within the current health and social care system. There are many reasons for this but, too often, it’s because a person's wishes aren’t communicated to all parts of the healthcare system. So we simply don’t know what care will be needed and when.

This is despite the huge dedication of health and social care professionals who are committed to doing their very best for their patients.

Currently 1 in 3 acute hospital beds are occupied by people at the end of life but we know that up to 40% of these admissions could be avoided if we work together, identify people’s end of life care preferences earlier and share these with those health and social care providers who will deliver this care.

By achieving this we can anticipate what care will be needed, where it will be needed and when. This will allow us to coordinate a more flexible and efficient health and social care system, reduce unwanted and unnecessary hospital admissions and most importantly, provide the best end of life care when it is needed most.

Our Progress

Our End of Life Care Together partnership now spans the health, social care and voluntary sectors. Led by NHS Highland and Highland Hospice, our partners, which include Macmillan Cancer Support, Connecting Carers, Marie Curie, Highland Senior Citizens Network, Scottish Care and more, are working together to create positive change.

Together, we have now launched the 24/7 Palliative Care Helpline. The service is an evolution of the NHS Out of Hours Helpline and provides a single point of access for 24/7 advice, support and information for patients nearing the end of life, their families, carers and professionals across Highland and Argyll and Bute. Find out more about the service here.

Further to this, our Palliative Care Response Service is currently operating in the Inverness area with a view to wider expansion. The service provides flexible and efficient access to social care and other support services at home for people nearing the end of life and helped more than 50 people in its first 3 months. Find out more about this service here.

The Cost of Change

A positive change programme such as this requires not only professional collaboration but financial support. We’re hugely grateful to Macmillan Cancer Support who have, through their partnership with Social Finance, provided funding for the 24/7 Palliative Care Helpline and the Palliative Care Response Service.

Social Finance are experts in social investment and have been working with Macmillan to find new and innovative ways to improve services supporting people at the end of their lives. The resultant Macmillan End of Life Care Fund has provided £1.38m of up-front funding for the 24/7 Helpline and the Palliative Care Response Service.

Making Contact

For further information, please contact Michael Loynd, Macmillan EOLCT Partnership Director by email at michael.loynd1@nhs.scot.