Our Hospital Team wins special award

We delighted that our incredible Hospital Palliative Care Team has won an award in recognition for its work to avoid unnecessary admission to hospital.

Our team, which is based at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, won a Quality Improvement Award at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals for its project based in the Emergency Department with the Trust’s own Palliative Care Team. The project provides responsive and timely palliative care support to reducing unnecessary admissions.

The ultimate aim of the project is to ensure that anyone with a palliative illness who attends the Emergency Department is discharged into their preferred place of care quickly, where it is appropriate to do so.

Between February 2021 and January 2022, a total of 69 patients were supported and 28% of those were discharged back to their place of residence or the local hospice, avoiding admission and reducing length of stay by on average a day, saving 78 bed days.

Notably, the project saw a larger number of patients than anticipated, highlighting the need for further work to promote anticipatory advance care planning. Ultimately the project showed that early specialist palliative care in-reach into emergency departments can prevent unnecessary admissions for patients in their last year of their life as well as providing support and education to staff.

At least week’s QI Awards at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, the project was awarded the Special Recognition Award in Honour of Pakho Li, a former colleague at the Trust who sadly passed away but was a huge advocate for quality improvement learning and methodology.

Sarah Roberts, Head of Community and Hospital Services at Trinity Hospice, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our hospital Palliative Care Team has won the special Quality Improvement Award in memory of Pakho Li, recognising the incredible collaborative work taking place between Trinity and the Trust in the hospital’s Emergency Department.

“By working together through our A&E pilot project, our hospital team is able to assess patients who are nearing the end of their life as they come to the ‘front door’ of the hospital. If their wish is to spend their final days at home or in a care home and they don’t have any complications, they can determine their reason for attending the emergency department and get them safely back to their preferred place without an admission onto a ward.

“Over the pilot period, of the 69 patients referred to our hospital Palliative Care Team who visited the Emergency Department towards the end of their life, they were able to get 19 (28%) to an alternative, more appropriate care environment on the same day. That saved the Trust 78 ‘acute bed days’, and is something we are all incredibly proud of here at Trinity.”

Dr Harriet Preston, Clinical Lead for End of Life Care at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals added: “Although it is enough to know that we have tried our best for patients and those important to them, we were absolutely delighted to receive the special recognition award.

“We were privileged to have been able to help care for Pakho during his final illness so to receive the award in his honour was incredibly special. This is also for all the staff in ED who are constantly striving to provide the best care for our patients in very challenging circumstances.”