Keech Hospice, Sue Ryder St Johns Hospice and Bedford Daycare Hospice worked together to provide a single point of access for hospice care in Bedfordshire.
Project and outcomes
Keech Hospice, Sue Ryder St Johns Hospice and Bedford Daycare Hospice worked together to improve the number of referrals they were receiving. They secured funding from the integrated care system (ICS) which allowed them to simplify the referrals process, open up self-referrals and promote hospice care to professionals and the public.
There is now one point of access for hospice care in Bedfordshire, called Your Hospice Care. This includes a website and Freephone number, both of which can be used by people with a life-limiting illness, their families and carers, and professionals.
Your Hospice Care is still in an early stage but it has been successful in increasing referrals. It is noticeable that self-referrals are asking for wraparound services such as wellbeing and bereavement support rather than in-patient support.
Facilitators, challenges and advice
The integrated care system (ICS) have supported marketing Your Hospice Care, including via social media and leaflet drop.
There were challenges early on because some people were trying to access non-hospice services through the Your Hospice Care website. The messaging has now been updated to make it clear what support can be accessed through the service.
Tips and advice
It’s important to have support from the ICS when you’re developing and marketing a single point of contact. If the new service results in too much demand for services, you might need to approach the ICS to help you increase capacity.
The hospices are now building on Your Hospice Care and plan to improve accessibility and promotion to diverse communities (for example by making the service available in different languages).
They will also analyse the data from the service to find out who comes through different referral routes, what support they are looking for, and how the hospices can provide appropriate support.