Hospice launches new first contact service

Launch of First Contact service by St Nicholsa Hospice Care''Pictured from left: Gayle Jenkins (First contact Nurse), Hilary MacDonald (First Contact Nurse), Jane Wythe (Clinical Nurse Specialist), Srah Last (First Contact Nurse) ana Heather Doggett (First Contact administrator)
Launch of First Contact service by St Nicholsa Hospice Care''Pictured from left: Gayle Jenkins (First contact Nurse), Hilary MacDonald (First Contact Nurse), Jane Wythe (Clinical Nurse Specialist), Srah Last (First Contact Nurse) ana Heather Doggett (First Contact administrator)
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A hospice has launched a scheme designed to be the first point of contact for those with a life shortening illness.

The First Contact team at St Nicholas Hospice Care brings a ‘consistent approach’ to 
enquiries from people newly referred or diagnosed - matching their needs to the most 
appropriate service.

Bosses say the team, which is made up of three nurses and an administrator, will help ‘negotiate what sometimes is a difficult system’.

Jane Wythe, clinical nurse specialist for the team, said: “Many people who have a life-shortening illness come into contact with an array of different medical professionals. The range of people to see and options to think about can be overwhelming and confusing.”

The team can introduce the new patient and their family to a range of services including drop in sessions, advice, support and facilitating a home visit.

Trevor Farrington, head of the community hospice team, added: “It’s about matching their needs with the right service delivered in the right place. It brings a consistent approach to enquiries and help people negotiate what sometimes is a difficult system.” The scheme is being funded for the next two years through a £431,212 grant from the Big Lottery Fund.