Following a successful initial pilot, a new service is launching in Liverpool and South Sefton that could save the NHS thousands of bed days and millions of pounds every year.
Coming in as one of the first of its kind in the UK, the trailblazing Integrated Mersey Palliative Care Team (IMPaCT) comprises of a range of health professionals, including doctors, specialist nurses, and specialist therapists, who work in conjunction with hospitals, hospices, and the community to deliver world-class end-of-life care.
The new service is a collaborative effort between Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Marie Curie Hospice, and Woodlands Hospice and supports an estimated 3,000 people a year – the equivalent of around 22 per day.
It is anticipated that the service will save the NHS £2.6m annually by preventing unnecessary hospital stays, with predictions estimating approximately 5,800 bed days saved.
Trish Bennett, Executive Director of Nursing and Operations at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The success of the IMPaCT model has reduced unplanned hospital admissions and improved partnership working.
"This means more of our patients are being supported when they are at their most vulnerable. Instead of patients having to contact multiple services for their needs, access to all support and advice is now available to them via one phone number.”
The launch of the service was commemorated with an event held at Aintree Racecourse that healthcare professionals from across the sector attended.
Dr Laura Chapman, Medical Director at the Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool, said: “Research we’ve gathered during the last few years has demonstrated how IMPaCT has significantly improved coordination between care providers and resulted in staff working more effectively, meaning improved access to care for patients.
“We’ve also seen an uplift in the number of patients supported to die in their preferred place, whether that’s at home or in care homes. This in turn has helped reduce unplanned hospital admissions across the city – for example we found that patients with three or more emergency admissions in the last 90 days of life decreased by 44% when they were supported by IMPaCT.
“I’m delighted that this game-changing service has now received the recognition and funding from Liverpool CCG, allowing us continue to support dying people across Liverpool to have the best possible end of life experience.”