Treetops Hospice Care in Derbyshire has launched a new Rapid Response Nurse service, to support more patients in the local community.


Now we can care for even more patients and alleviate pressures on the NHS.

Phil Shreeve, Treetops Hospice

The hospice approached car manufacturers Toyota, also based in the county, to ask if they would loan them a vehicle to help deliver their Hospice at Home service. The nightly service sees a registered nurse and healthcare assistant respond to calls from Hospice at Home nurses or patients in their homes each evening.

Reaching more people who need care


Toyota loaned them an Avensis Auto Tourer Estate which is enabling the Rapid Response Service team to visit up to seven more patients each night to help with symptom or pain management.

The team are equipped with full PPE and a care kit, and they work in addition to the existing Hospice at Home nurses who provide overnight care for patients.

"At present, our Hospice at Home nurses are providing overnight and day care for patients at the very end of life, who’ve chosen to die at home," explains Phil Shreeve, Director of Clinical Services.

"This service is continuing as normal as we know how vital it is for families to know their loved one is being cared for whilst they get a few hours’ sleep or a break.

"The new Rapid Response Nurse Service means we can care for even more patients and alleviate pressures on the NHS. As an example our nurses can call the Rapid Response Service for help to deliver pain medication to a patient.

"We also have families that perhaps don’t need a Treetops nurse to sit with a patient for a whole night, but might need to call with a one-off request. They can now call the Rapid Response Service who can respond quickly and who have an existing knowledge of the patient and their needs.

A more efficient service


"Previously, if a family recognised their loved one was in pain or deteriorating, they would call the 111 out-of-hours service," Phil says.

"They would assess the situation and send out a District Nurse, but this could mean a wait as the service is extremely busy. Our Rapid Response Team may be closer, and may be able to respond more quickly, helping to take pressure off out of hours nursing staff.

"This service simply wouldn’t exist were it not for the help of Toyota. We needed a vehicle that our nurses could use each evening for several hours and potentially drive hundreds of miles across the city and county to deliver care. For this reason, we want to say a huge thank you to them."

The Hospice at Home nurses have been taking it in turns to assist with the Rapid Response Service, and the responses from families and nurses has been very positive. "Since the Rapid Response Service has started, it has made it possible for us to reach more patients through the night than before," Nicola Ward explains, a nurse who’s worked at Treetops for nearly five years.

“"We are literally a phone call away and this has already been a great comfort to many families. It is a real honour to provide this new service to our patients as it ensures they are receiving the very best care.

"This service really complements our Hospice at Home Service, enabling us to nurse patients in their preferred place of care and giving families the confidence to carry on."

About Hospice Care Week


Hospice Care Week is a chance to join with hospices nationwide to celebrate the hard work, achievements and commitment of our hospice sector. At Hospice UK, we believe that everyone, no matter who they are, where they are or why they are ill, should receive the best possible care at the end of their life.