Improving Access Project Co-ordinator
This is a one-year secondment
To be based in St Austell, working flexibly between organisations
Hours – 0.6 WTE
Salary paid at Band 6 (NHS Agenda for Change)
Cornwall Hospice Care is the only adult hospice provider in Cornwall. It provides 20 inpatient beds on 2 sites (one in St Austell), community outreach hubs, a 24/7 advice service for professionals, clinics in the acute hospital, inreach to other care settings and education across the healthcare community. It is committed to collaborative and innovative working to enable all those in need of palliative care to access services and set up an Improving Access group in 2019 to bring together those involved in care for people who struggle to do so (including homeless and vulnerably housed).
St Austell Community Health provides primary care services to over 30,000 people in the St Austell area and already provides an inreach GP clinic in Harbour Housing’s main hostel site.
Harbour Housing directly houses over 70 vulnerable people in the St Austell area and provides outreach workers to more. They have a track record of collaboration to support their clients’ needs.
Cornwall has high indices of deprivation across the board. It has rising homelessness with both rough sleepers (often rural and hidden) and especially with vulnerable housing. St Austell is the largest conurbation in Cornwall and has the highest proportion of people in hostel, temporary and B&B accommodation including very high numbers of vulnerable groups: those with substance and alcohol dependence, those escaping domestic violence and ex-prisoners. There is a homelessness GP service in West Cornwall but none in Mid or East Cornwall so there is an existing health inequity in this area.
Homelessness, substance dependence and social deprivation all predict for poor health outcomes and early death, and also for poor access to healthcare services including end of life care. Average age in this group is rising with increasing chronic and terminal disease needing good care planning, palliative and end of life care.
Despite all of this these patients are rarely referred to hospice services, receive little advance care planning, struggle to access medication or care, tend to die in the acute setting and those close to them are not referred to bereavement support.
This project will bring together the existing knowledge, skills and resources of these three organisations to facilitate homeless and vulnerably housed people to access care, be supported in advance care planning and enable those close to them to access bereavement support. It will ensure the services which are already there – such as the hospice advice line, community hubs and inreach clinics at the hostel – are better used. It will also help develop innovative solutions to barriers to care: for example, by enabling end of life drugs to be supplied safely to people in vulnerable housing and to support people to stay in their preferred environment at end of life. By involving residents of Harbour Housing’s hostels in planning services we will ensure we are meeting real needs and wishes, and also supporting individuals to talk about dying and bereavement. Education programs will develop resources which can be shared locally and nationally.
Improving Access Project Co-ordinator Role
We are advertising for a project coordinator, seconded from any of the three organisations, to lead development and implementation of the project. They will liaise with key staff in each organisation, coordinate education resources and events for staff. They will also liaise with those in the wider health and social care community in and beyond Cornwall to ensure that the project develops in line with best practice and local needs. We have already established the need for the following key elements of
- Education for hospice, housing support and primary care staff to support assessment of needs, supportive and open discussions about prognosis, wishes and care planning, complexities of prescribing and providing end of life care in vulnerable housing settings.
- Development of facilities and skills within HH’s current provision to enable residents to remain there at end of life.
- Innovative ways to safely prescribe, store and provide end of life medication to those in vulnerable housing whilst minimising risks of diversion or misuse.
- Support for vulnerably housed people to talk with one another and their support workers about death and dying in a safe and supportive context
- Information and resources for patients, carers and professionals
- Information and signposting to bereavement support for friends and family
Many of the resources and services needed already exist but are not accessible to this group and so a key role of the project coordinator will be identifying these gaps and barriers so that they can be addressed.
This is an exciting post as a secondment open to staff at Cornwall Hospice Care, St Austell Community Health and Harbour Housing. The role is key to taking the work forward and involves co-ordinating the different projects, working collaboratively with the three core organisations and wider partners. The successful applicant will be developing education, resources and pathways to help those most in need access responsive, compassionate and individualised care for them and their loved ones and end of life and in bereavement.
It is a one-year secondment at 0.6 WTE. If you think you might be interested, would like to know more or have an informal conversation about this role then please contact Dr Carolyn Campbell Carolyn.Campbell8@nhs.net
For full job description and person specification and to apply for this position, please contact the HR Department at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice on 01726 65711 or email your CV and covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date: 30/6/20