Select Committee on Health Written Evidence


Memorandum by St Barnabas Hospital (PC 6)

  St Barnabas Hospice was established some 22 years ago and now provides a comprehensive range of services across the greater part of Lincolnshire, from Caistor in the north east down to Crowland in the south east. We provide services in urban conurbations as well as to significant rural areas.

  Our service provision is comprehensive and includes In-Patient care, Day Hospice and Hospice at Home Service and to this end we would be willing to work with the Health Committee in examining the provision of Hospice and palliative care services.


  We provide In-Patient care from our main centre based in Lincoln but have five-day care hospices situated across Lincolnshire and from these we have bases for our hospice at home teams who work alongside district nurses and Marie Curie to provide elements of 24 hour nursing care.


  Provision of services in a geographical sense for day care and hospice at home services is equitable. However, the provision of adequate In-Patient facilities is not the only facility being in Lincoln. Attempts have been made to address the needs of younger people but the greater focus of care tends to be for those patients who are middle aged and upwards.


  St Barnabas Hospice is not a religious organisation and would provide services for patients irrespective of their culture, religious or ethnic backgrounds. Genuine attempts are made to provide packages of care tailored to suit the individual needs of both patients and their families.


  Some positive links have been developed with Social Services in terms of providing packages of care. An important element of our service provision is welfare support to avoid financial hardship and pain at what is already a difficult time for families.


  We undertake quality assurance and audits of our services. We have done this on a consortia basis with three other other hospices based in Grantham, Grimsby and Scunthorpe.


  Clearly there are areas where we can improve our service provision. This will be reflected through the audit programme as it develops. However, again this is subject to funding being made available.


  We have a robust clinical governance programme well established within the organisation. We have fostered positive links with key personnel working in the mainstream NHS, both in the acute and primary care sectors.


  We are fortunate in St Barnabas in that we have a healthcare lecturer who is a joint appointment between ourselves and Nottingham University. She works three days per week for St Barnabas and two days per week for the University. Again, we have pursued positive links through the consortia arrangement for education and personal development of staff.


  Recruitment and retention of staff who are qualified healthcare professionals is an issue for us. Currently we have been unable to recruit any accredited consultants to work in Lincolnshire. This is clearly a significant concern for us. Allied health professionals are another area where there is some difficulty in recruiting staff. On the nursing front, this varies from geographical location to geographical location but competition for recruitment will continue to be an issue.


  Our budget for the coming financial year is estimated at approximately £3.2 million. Over 60% of this has to be raised by our own organisation with the balance coming from the Health Commissioners. We receive no funding from local authorities.


  The National Service Frameworks, Cancer Plan and NICE Guidance and also the Care Standards Commission are all helping to shape people's thinking and making both acute and primary care services realise how important the provision of good palliative care services is. Working with the voluntary sector can help to take pressure off district nursing services, facilitate early discharge, keep people in their own homes and offer them a choice over their place of death, which in turn can impact on freeing up beds in the acute sector, which can then make the use of acute beds more efficient.

  In closing we would again state that we would be only too willing to be involved in what we see as a vitally important area of consideration by the Health Committee.

February 2004

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