Dedicated nurses provide 24-hour palliative care over the festive season

Wilma Jassal
Wilma Jassal

A palliative support service has highlighted the dedication of nurses caring for seriously ill people over the festive season.

During the Christmas and New Year period, Partnership for Excellence in Palliative Support (PEPS) nurses worked across Bedfordshire providing end of life care and support to patients in their own homes.

The PEPS service, provided by Moggerhanger’s Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice and commissioned by Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, co-ordinates care between 15 different organisations to provide a single point of contact via a 24-hour telephone line for adult patients, their family, carers and health care professionals. The service also offers home visits.

PEPS has launched a night-time palliative care service in Bedfordshire to ensure help is available 24 hours a day for patients who have life-limiting conditions or are nearing the end of life.

Wilma Jassal, who has been a PEPS nurse for five years, said: “We as PEPS nursing assistants have a very privileged job as it is an honour to be invited into someone’s home at any time of year.

“Everyone’s home is their castle; their personality and lives have evolved in that house so when you walk in you instantly have a clear understanding of that person.

“When some leave for St John’s you realise what they are leaving behind and may never see again so to be part of that life is huge.

“It really gives you an understanding of what they are leaving and losing; it can be really sad.”

When diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, people often have care and support from many different services which are involved in looking after them. A referral to PEPS can make life much easier for the patient and for their family and carers.

PEPS now offers both day and night care at home for palliative patients and their families to help prevent hospital admission, crisis, or to facilitate hospital discharge, give a short term care package and support families/carers.

Referrals to the PEPS service can be made by patients, family members or health care professionals by contacting the team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year on 01767 641349.