Shropshire Star

Shropdoc palliative care line gets 600 calls a month

More than 600 people call the Shropdoc palliative care line every month - with hundreds receiving visits and further care.

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LAST PATRICK MULVANEY COPYRIGHT EXPRESS & STAR PIC 7/12/2015 Dr Simon Chapple is pictured outside the Accident and Emergency unit at the Princess Royal Hospital, off Grainger Drive, Telford, for a story on Accident and Emergency provision in Shropshire. .

The figures were shared by the out-of-hours healthcare organisation ahead of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, which is marked on Saturday.

The day is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world and it also provides the opportunity for those affected to speak out about experiences of grief, loss and bereavement.

This year’s theme is Healing Hearts and Communities; communities, institutions and healthcare providers joining forces to advocate palliative care policies and programmes to support the needs of patients and families.

One of those programmes is the palliative care line launched by Shropdoc in March 2020 which, Shropdoc says, quickly proved to be a valuable addition to the services already delivered - vitally important because of Shropdoc’s status as an out-of-hours healthcare provider.

Dr Simon Chapple, of Shropdoc, said: “According to Global Atlas of Palliative Care, more than 56.8 million people are estimated to require palliative care every year.

"This includes 31.1 million prior to and 25.7 million near the end of their life.

“The majority, 67 per cent, are adults over 50 and at least seven per cent are children. The figures show just how important palliative care is and the need to raise awareness about it - something which is promoted each year through World Hospice and Palliative Care Day.

“Shropdoc is keen to support palliative care patients and their families and need to make them aware that we are here to help when their own surgery is closed."

Shropdoc also works closely with the team at Severn Hospice to ensure the best possible care available.

“It is why we launched our palliative care line in 2020 - something born from the pandemic but it has already proved a successful service for patients. A patient or their carer has the reassurance of knowing they can phone and speak to our call handler, provide details of treatment and then a clinician will call back within 20 minutes.

“A home visit will be arranged if the patient needs to be seen by an urgent care practitioner and all details of our involvement will be forwarded to the patient’s GP surgery by 8am in the case of an overnight visit.”

Professor Derek Willis, Severn Hospice’s medical director, said: “It has been a real pleasure developing an effective relationship with Shropdoc over several years. It is not just professionally satisfying to have this but vital to the ongoing care for those patients in the region that have palliative or end-of-life needs.

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