The Community Care Nurse Specialists initiative is to receive ongoing support by Lincolnshire County Council, after initially receiving funding for two years.
The news comes as the service, which is run by St Barnabas Hospice, receives a new accolade – the Innovation in Healthcare and Wellbeing award at the Lincolnshire Technology and Innovation Awards, hosted by CityX.
This follows an award it received from Hospice UK – the Michael Howard Award, given in recognition of innovation in partnerships between hospices and hospitals.
The service came about when Kerry Bareham, a St Barnabas Hospice nurse consultant, penned a dissertation for her Masters which highlighted how hospitals required more support in identifying end-of-life care needs. This research informed a business case for the community care nurse specialist roles.
These nurses, employed by St Barnabas Hospice, were then placed in Lincoln County and Boston Pilgrim hospitals to educate clinicians on how to identify patients in their last year of life and develop a tailored care plan.
In their first year in the role, Ashleigh Robinson, at Lincoln, and Holly Musgrave, at Boston, supported 552 patients to access end-of-life care sooner – an increase of 36.1 per cent compared to before their roles existed.
Tracey Perrett, head of service, hospitals and special projects at Lincolnshire County Council said: “This is a great example of the impact of collaboration and innovative working – delivered with a shared vision and making a difference to people and their families at the end of life. Lincolnshire is the only place that has this service, with the county council grant funding. And the great news going forward is that it’s been agreed to support this service on a permanent basis.”
It is anticipated that the service will expand across other Lincolnshire hospitals.
Ashleigh said: “I have worked at St Barnabas for many years, so when the opportunity to apply for this role came up, it felt like a perfect fit.
“It feels great knowing I can support even more people across Lincolnshire whilst continuing to work for an amazing charity.”