Palliative Care

Bluebird Care provide outstanding end-of-life and palliative care from Painswick to Dursley and Wotton-Under-Edge, and from Fairford and Lechlade to Stroud and Stonehouse. At time of writing (June 2021) we are the only Home Care provider following National Gold Standards Framework for end-of-life care, which sets the best practice model for all health care professionals supporting people at the end of their lives. 

For more information on GSF click here

Palliative Care and End-of-Life Care – is there a difference? 

Palliative Care is a type of care which does not combat a disease or illness directly, but works to alleviate and suffering caused by that disease, or indeed the side-effects of medical treatments. Palliative care is not always end-of-life care. For instance; many forms of prostate cancer are slow-growing to the point that they are not life-limiting, and the treatment to combat the disease cause a significant drop in quality of life. Many people who are diagnosed with prostate cancer choose not to have treatment to cure the disease, instead having palliative care to alleviate the symptoms. 

End-of-Life Care is prescribed when someone is diagnosed with a disease or condition which will definitely limit the length of their life, and no potential cure is available. This includes old age or frailty. End-of-life care will definitely be palliative care in this case, and the focus of this person’s care will be to give them maximum quality of life for the time they have remaining. 

 

Hospital, Hospice or Home? 

If we are identified as being at end of life, we all qualify for help from the NHS, and our health service in the U.K. is very good as supporting us to have as much choice and control as we want. One of the major choices we have is the place we spend our last days. 

Hospital 

Since the inception of the National Health Service in 1948, many of us have spent our last days in hospital settings. Quite often people were admitted to hospital against their will, especially if they were unable to express their wishes. Palliative care was administered by doctors and nurses, who, with their dedication and compassion brought comfort to those who were often alone and apart from their loved ones between visiting hours. 

End-of-life care in hospitals is now as superb as anywhere, but the NHS has identified that there is a divergence in needs between treating illness with a view to achieving a recovery and palliative care, where the goal is to achieve maximum quality of life during end of life. Consequently, if we are as identified as being at the end of our life, we are much more likely to be referred to a hospice, or offered hospice at home. 

Hospice   

Hospices are facilities dedicated to providing the best end-of life care, and often have a more peaceful atmosphere than hospitals. A good end-of-life hospice will be able to provide specialist care for pain management and symptoms, as well as help managing spiritual, emotional and practical support. While visiting may be restricted due to COVID-19 measures being in place, in general hospices are much more accessible to visiting friends and family members. You can also take shorter respite breaks in a hospice, if you have decided on receiving hospice-at-home care. 

 

What you can expect if you choose Bluebird Care? 

When you contact us, we will arrange for someone to visit you to have an informal chat. WE will be happy to speak to everyone who you think should be involved in your care. We will find out what is important to you, and then, if you wish to go ahead, agree a support plan which meets your needs. If you wish, we will be able to liaise with all of the other medical professionals you are working with, to ensure that you receive your care in the way you have chosen. We will work quickly and efficiently so that your care is available when you need it. 

When your care starts, our small team of sensitive and compassionate carers will visit you at home at the times you choose. They will be able to support you with all of your physical care needs, and will have the time to talk with you about whatever you want, and to spend time with your family or friends too, if they need support or advice. They will get to know you well, and be able to recognize small changes in your well-being. 

We will ensure that any changing needs are met quickly and effectively, and that all the people you need to be kept informed are contacted in good time too. We will seek appropriate assistance in a proactive way, to ensure unwanted and unnecessary hospital admissions are avoided where possible. We will also be able to signpost you to other support which may be available to you and those around you, and will always ensure that your wishes and needs are at the centre of any plan. 

If you would like to discuss End-of-Life or Palliative Care from Bluebird Care, please call us on 01453 757 937 or click here to make contact.