A new approach that improves care for people affected by cancer and other life limiting conditions at the end of their life is to be introduced in West Norfolk.
West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group is working with Macmillan Cancer Support to trial Macmillan Specialist Care at Home in six locations across the UK.
Based on a Swedish model of advanced home care, Macmillan Specialist Care at Home is led by a community-based consultant doctor working with a team of highly skilled doctors, nurses, support workers and other professionals to provide flexible and personalised care.
People affected by cancer and other life limiting conditions are referred for specialist care at the earliest opportunity, and offered as much medical treatment and support at home as possible.
The team also collaborates with health and social care organisations to co-ordinate the right support for the individual and their family.
The programme in West Norfolk will start in April and run until 2016, when an evaluation by academics at Nottingham University’s Sue Ryder Centre will inform future plans.
The service will be led by a nurse consultant in palliative medicine.
Ciarán Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We know three quarters of cancer patients would prefer to spend their final days in their own home with family and friends, but less than a third actually do.
“To allow people a real choice, we need health and social care services to be co-ordinated into a seamless package of care.
“We hope that by testing the Macmillan Specialist Care at Home approach with West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group we will further demonstrate a blueprint for the way end of life care is delivered in the future.”
Sue Crossman, chief officer of West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “Home-based care for patients at all stages in their end of life journey is a priority in West Norfolk.
“The Macmillan Specialist Care at Home service will provide a valuable extension to the West Norfolk ‘Hospice at Home’ Service, which consists of a team of health and care staff from several organisations working together to care for terminally ill people who wish to stay at home.
“We are very pleased to be able to offer this enhanced service to people in West Norfolk.”
Home-based care is a priority in West Norfolk as a new scheme to support patients who have had their initial cancer treatment and have continuing care needs is also underway in the area.