Palliative care scheme helps terminal patients

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When faced with a terminal illness, many patients wish to stay in their own home until the end.

Now, thanks to the work of 15 Bedfordshire care agencies, more families across the county have this option.

Staff at Sue Ryder’s St John’s Hospice, Moggerhanger, co-ordinate the Bedfordshire Partnership in Palliative Care Support (PEPS), which provides 24-hour palliative care support for patients, carers and health professionals.

And by supporting patients and families, the scheme also reduces unnecessary trips to A&E for patients and reduces hospital admissions.

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is one of the partners involved in running the service, which last year enabled 69 per cent of people registered with the scheme to die at home.

This is a 26.6 per cent increase on 2012, when nationally just 42.2 per cent of deaths occurred at a home address.

A BCCG spokesman said: “The Bedford partnership is a national leader in this service. More and more people are able to avoid going to A&E and be cared for at home during the time they need assistance the most.”

The service was launched in 2011 and partners include district nurses and the ambulance service. It covers all illnesses, including cancer, motor neurone disease, kidney and heart failure, respiratory disease and dementia.

People wishing to register with the service should contact their GP. For more information go to