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Community and mental health services for Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.


Solent partners with Hospice UK to deliver landmark pilot scheme to improve care for young people with life limiting conditions

Solent NHS Trust is proudly partnering with Hospice UK in a three-year national project to support young people (aged 16-25) with life limiting or complex conditions to transition from adolescence to adulthood. The aim is to bring together regional children’s and national hospices, the NHS, volunteer groups and the young people themselves, to build a structured support base, or Transition Community of Practice.

The project will be overseen by Hospice UK, known as the super-hub, and will be supported by Solent NHS Trust, Keech Hospice in Bedfordshire and the Yorkshire and Humber Palliative Care Network.  Solent is the only chosen NHS body to support the programme due to its reputation for outstanding care and great clinical care for adolescents receiving palliative and end of life care.

Solent NHS Trust is tasked with developing an ECHO transition network, which aims to hope to have a far reaching and transformational impact on care and support during the time that young people are transitioning from children to adult services.

The community-based Transition Community of Practice will use technology to ensure that essential equipment, utilised by young adults receiving palliative care, is shared in the most time effective way, enabling individuals to access tools to get them out of their homes and experiencing life as they would want. This can include equipment such as lifting gear, mobility vehicles or even computer software to provide computer generated speech.

The effective sharing of these costly devices will reduce disparity in quality of life experience and help to ensure that clinical practitioners, such as community palliative care nurses, can deliver the highest level of care and support to their patients.

In addition to the increased sharing of physical resources across the area, investment is also being made into case based learning, where community volunteers, educators and others involved on caring for individuals facing complex and life limiting challenges, are provided with targeted training on how best to support. This can include online workshops which train on how to muse medical and non-medical devices, to videos and guides for carers and the young people themselves.

A Network co-ordinator will oversee the coordination between Solent NHS Trust, hospices and carers, co-ordinating logistics of IT support and equipment, whilst facilitating with online learning and online groups sessions for health practitioners and carers. An IT Technician is funded to provide expert knowledge to all those involved in the network, ensuring effective take-up of the technology.

To monitor the effectiveness of this pilot scheme, feedback will be collected in real time using web-based tools. This will enable researchers to analyse the effectiveness of the scheme and recommend changes.

Evaluation of ECHO will take place throughout the three year plan. Once the project concludes, it is hoped that it will become the best practice model for all UK hospices and health and care providers, which would see a dramatic improvement in the quality of life for young adults facing such enormous challenges.

Solent is determined to reduce health inequality and improve access to care.  As a Trust, Solent aims to provide great care and are consistently using new IT and modern technology to deliver better outcomes, enabling service users to stay safe and well in their own homes. Solent is now seeking to advance this further, by genuinely improving quality of life for young people who have the right to experience life as their peers do. 

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