Connected Palliative Care
You may be offered palliative care to improve or maintain your quality of life if you have been told you might not get better or have a life-limiting illness. Those involved in your care will regularly assess your needs and try to help you with any physical, emotional, social or spiritual needs you may have. You can have palliative care for weeks, months or years.
For more information about disabled access for this service, please click here.
Connected Palliative Care is a service for patients and their relatives and carers in Sandwell and West Birmingham who have a life-limiting illness.
We work in partnership with other health professionals such as the GP and community nurses to support and coordinate care.
We are open seven days a week, from 8am-8pm. For referrals, advice and requests for visits please call 0121 507 3611.
Between the hours of 8pm – 8am, we have a Specialist Palliative Care Nurse on-call who will give clinical advice to healthcare professionals. Please contact the hospital’s main switchboard on 0121 553 1831, who will contact the nurse on call for you.
If the patient is in their own home needing palliative input from the Urgent Response Palliative Care team call 07896793814 to speak to a nurse directly between 8pm and 8am. This number is not available at any other times.
You can email us at: swb-tr.SWBH-GM-Connected-PC-Hub@nhs.net (checked every day).
Palliative Care Suite, Connected Palliative Care Hub, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, Sandwell General Hospital, Lyndon, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B71 4HJ
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Who do we look after?
For people in their own homes, the patient must be registered with a GP within Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group. The patient must be in the last 12 months of life and be referred by a health professional. Once known to our service, the patient, relative or carer can contact us directly.
For people who are currently inpatients with palliative care needs regardless of CCG the service will support their care and then hand over to local services on discharge.
A member of the team will answer the call and may ask the patient for more information in order to advise them better. Healthcare professionals can also use this number to refer to the service.
With the permission of the patient, the team will access their health record and if necessary, transfer the call to a nurse who will provide extra advice and support or put them in touch with other services if needed. This may include involving a district nurse, a specialist nurse, a doctor or another health professional.
What does the Connected Palliative Care offer?
We aim to equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively with patients and families about death, and bereavement and recognise that emotional, spiritual, family and financial worries might be just as important as physical problems.
We offer the following services:
- Trained nurses able to advise and support patients, relatives, carers and professionals.
- 24/7 Urgent Response Team of registered nurses and healthcare assistants to carry out home visits to patients at times of crisis working closely with other services
- Signposting to services that provide care, advice and equipment.
- Providing social support for patients, their relatives and carers, including sitting services, domestic support and welfare rights advice.
- Coordination of referral for specialist palliative care assessment if the patient’s symptoms or needs are complex and difficult to manage.
- Education and advice to healthcare professionals to maximise skills on all aspects of palliative and end of life care.
- Co-ordination of services to ensure care packages are in place when needed.
- After death support to the bereaved by signposting to bereavement support services.
For inpatients: The Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Service
This is made up of a team of specialist nurses, occupational therapists and consultants who offer palliative care for inpatients in City Hospital and Sandwell General Hospital.
The team works with patients their family, their ward doctors and nurses to improve physical comfort (such as treatment for pain or sickness) and helps them make decisions about a person’s future treatment. They also work with the help of social workers, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.
They can discuss the patient’s options for future treatment and care and refer people to other professionals who will continue their care in hospital, home, care home or a hospice.
Patients can be referred to the hospital palliative care service by any healthcare professional on the ward where they are having treatment. The team can be contacted via the Connected Palliative Care Hub on 0121 507 3611, between 8am -8pm. Out of these hours, for urgent telephone advice, they can be contacted via SWBH switchboard on 0121 507 1831, by healthcare professionals.
- For more information on services for people in their own homes see the “Out of hospital care” section.
District nurses and community matrons
Community nurses, district nursing teams and community matrons can provide general nursing care for patients in their own home and support their carers. They will be able to address any symptoms and seek further support from palliative services if they need further support with symptom control to help the patient live until they die in your preferred place of care with dignity.
Urgent response nursing team
Available via Connected Palliative Care, for people with a Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG GP, this is a team of registered nurses and Healthcare professional who carry out home visits 24/7 to palliative patients at times of crisis working closely with other services.
The patient’s GP will play an important role in coordinating their care at home. Most notably they will:
- Plan the patient’s care with the district nurse and any specialists if needed
- Regularly assess and treat their symptoms in partnership with the patient
- Talk to the patient about and record their wishes for future care
- Make sure they know who to contact if they have any problems
- Pass on information about the patient to the out-of-hours doctors and nursing services so that if they need to contact them they will already have information about their condition.
Community Specialist Palliative Care Services
This is made up of community clinical nurse specialists, consultants in palliative medicine and allied healthcare professionals and they support people and their families. The teams work closely with other people involved with their care including GPs, district nurses and hospital consultants and nurses. They can also refer people to day services or to be admitted to one of the local hospices inpatient units if appropriate.
Community clinical nurse specialists are nurses who have had further training and experience in palliative care and can talk with people about any physical, emotional, spiritual or social issues which may be having an impact on their life. They have a good knowledge of what can help, including medication to improve symptoms such as pain, sickness or breathlessness. They have time to discuss thoughts and feelings which people may wish to share and can give information to help people make choices.
The patient’s care will be from which ever local provider their GP has chosen. Connected Palliative Care can help make sure the patient is referred to the correct one.
Day hospice services are provided via local hospices. SWBH has its own Heart of Sandwell Day Hospice, which is based at Rowley Regis Hospital.
We aim to improve the health and well-being for palliative patients attending the hospice by offering them a holistic needs assessment and a 12 week program of activities. We are currently open three days a week and patients attend one day a week for 12 weeks to achieve goals set by the Day Hospice Coordinator. Goals may include fatigue management, social interaction, anxiety and breathlessness reduction.
- Discussion groups
- Fatigue/anxiety/breathlessness management groups
- Relaxation groups
- Arts and crafts
- Bowen massage with complementary therapist
- Move it or Lose It exercise groups
- Pets As Therapy Dog
Referrals are received via the Palliative Care Hub on 0121 507 3611
How can I access Palliative Care services?
GPs, hospital specialists, community nurses district or hospital palliative care team can refer to the patient’s community palliative care team by calling the Connected Palliative Care Hub on 0121 507 3611, who will then complete a referral form. The team referred to will depend on which area the GP is based in. A member of the appropriate community team will then contact the patient to make an initial appointment where they will discuss the best way to support them.
Anticipatory medicines to help you understand medicines used at the end of life http://connect.swbh.nhs.uk/knowledge/Patient%20Information%20Leaflets/Anticipatory%20medicines.pdf
Living with a palliative condition
Palliative care is for all people who have a life-limiting illness and aims to improve people’s quality of life by addressing people’s physical, psychological and social concerns. Further information is available at:
Motor neurone disease
Chronic lung disease
There may be times in your life when you think about what is important to you, the kind of care you will want in the future and what means for you and your family. You can make people aware of your wishes by advance care planning.
My Life and Advance Care Planning leaflet is used locally to help people with a palliative diagnosis plan their care and express their wishes
Further information about death and dying matters can be found on the Dying Matters website: www.dyingmatters.org
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust Chaplaincy
Chaplains can offer spiritual support and signpost people to other services. Telephone: 0121 507 5051 (City Hospital) or 0121 507 3552 (Sandwell Hospital and Rowley Regis Hospital)
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
Staff are available for advice and information, or to listen to your concerns, suggestions and comments. They can also help resolve any issues with your care. Telephone: 0121 507 5836 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtyard Centre Cancer Information and Support Service
The Courtyard Centre is based in the main reception area at Sandwell Hospital. It provides information, support and access to other services for cancer patients and their relatives. Opening hours are 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday.
John Taylor Hospice
76 Grange Road
Tel: 0121 465 2000
Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice
176 Raddlebarn Road
Tel: 0121 472 1191
76-78 Boldmere Road
Tel: 0121 362 3664
New Swan Lane
Tel: 0121 553 6483
Leasowes Intermediate Care Centre (Home from Home Palliative Care Beds)
Tel: 0121 612 1559
Other local services
Citizens Advice Bureau
Provides free and confidential legal and financial advice.
Telephone: 08444 111 444
Supports children and families through serious illness and bereavement.
Telephone: 0121 454 1705
Mary Stevens House
221 Hagley Road
Tel: 01384 443 010
74 Compton Road West
Tel: 0845 225 5497
St Giles Hospice Walsall
Tel: 01922 602520
What to do in a crisis at home
Telephone the Connected Palliative Care Hub 0121 507 3611 and they will be able to give you further advice and support. They could also arrange support such as District Nurse, GP or the Urgent Response Team.
Our diverse team includes:
Palliative Medicine Consultants
Clinical nurse specialists
Urgent response Palliative Care Nurses
Key service contacts
Head of Service
Palliative & End of Life Care Team Leader
Dr Anna Lock
Dr Diana Webb
Heart of Sandwell Day Hospice Coordinator
Urgent Response Team Lead
Macmillan Occupational Therapy lead
End of Life Care Facilitator lead
For more information on recognising the last year of life use the nationally recognised SPICT prognostication tool by clicking here.
Referring to Connected Palliative Care? Find out more by clicking the following: Connected Palliative Care Information for professionals.
Setting up a syringe driver? This policy will guide you.
West Midlands Palliative Care Physicians Guidance: Please follow this link for General reference for managing symptoms.
Prescribing for palliative patients who might not be able to swallow soon? Follow this link for Anticipatory medication – which will detail what to prescribe .
Concerned someone may have metastatic spinal cord compression? Click here to use these guidelines.
Making plans for the future
Advance care planning is for patients who wish to anticipate how their condition may affect them in the future. If they wish, they can set on record:
- their choices about their care or treatment
- an advance decision to refuse treatment in specific circumstances
Those responsible for the patient’s care and treatment, whether professional staff or family carers, can refer to this if the patient loses the capacity to decide once their illness progresses.
For further information: My LIFE a local Advance Care Planning leaflet to help people with a palliative diagnosis plan their care and express their wishes
Local professional development
The Connected Palliative Care team offer local palliative care training. Contact us directly for info on 0121 507 3611.
John Taylor Hospice – contact Nicky Tongue for information on 0121 465 2000.
Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice – see the following link http://www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/Pages/Category/education-and-training.
European Certificate in Essential Palliative Care
This is an eight-week distance learning course for doctors, nurses, and allied healthcare professionals who want a recognised qualification in essential palliative care. It is divided into five sections:
- Caring for patients with pain
- Palliative care and the gastrointestinal system
- Breaking bad news and ethical issues
- Clinical emergencies in palliative care in non-malignance diseases
- The last 48 hours of life, practical issues and bereavement
Candidates are required to complete a case study portfolio, a written examination, key competency and practical at the end of the course. It is held at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, Selly Park.
End of Life Care for All (e-ELCA)
A free e-learning project, has been commissioned by the Department of Health to support the implementation of the national End of Life Care Strategy (July 2008). The e-ELCA enhances the training and education of health and social care staff involved in delivering end of life care to patients. Go to www.e-lfh.org.uk/projects/e-elca/index.html and www.endoflifecareforall.org.uk for more information.
For more information about the Macmillan Learn Zone see http://learnzone.macmillan.org.uk.
At SWBH we are working to deliver the Five Priorities for Care developed nationally in 2014 by the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People, read more here.
- The possibility that a person may die within the coming days and hours is recognised and communicated clearly, decisions about care are made in accordance with the person’s needs and wishes, and these are reviewed and revised regularly.
- Sensitive communication takes place between staff and the person who is dying and those important to them.
- The dying person, and those identified as important to them, are involved in decisions about treatment and care.
- The people important to the dying person are listened to and their needs are respected.
- Care is tailored to the individual and delivered with compassion – with an individual care plan in place
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust are continually working to ensure that these are met across all settings.
End of life Care is further supported by staff education and resources for staff as well as patients and their families such as: