South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS FT has launched a new end of life and palliative care service designed to give patients ‘more choice’ about where their lives end, the organisation says.
The Cedar Unit will provide ‘enhanced care and support’ for adults (aged 18 and over) who have life-limiting illnesses and are nearing the end of their life. Here, patients will receive 24-hour holistic care to assist patients with managing their symptoms and make life ‘more comfortable’.
According to the trust, the new unit, supported by the community palliative care, will offer six private rooms newly decorated with an ensuite bathroom, walk-in shower and access to a calming garden area to provide a ‘comfortable and homely’ environment for those not wanting to die in hospital or at home.
Dr Nousha Ali, local GP and Clinical Director, NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s important that patients have more choice at the end of their lives, so that everyone can have the best quality care, wherever they choose to be. We have already expanded community-based teams who care for people who prefer to be at home, or in a care home, at the end of their life. The Cedar Unit is a calm and dignified place for people who prefer not to be at home or in hospital.”
Elaine Coghill, Deputy Director of Nursing, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This new approach will transform the way end of life and palliative care is currently delivered in South Tyneside.
“We want the people to have as much choice and control as possible. Providing the right care, support and dignity at the end of life is important for every single patient. That’s why we’ve also invested in community-based services for people who prefer to die at home or in a care home.”