• “A Friend in the Corner”: Supporting people at home in the last year of life via telephone and video consultation – an evaluation

      Middleton-Green, Laura; Gadoud, A.; Norris, Beverley; Sargeant, Anita R.; Nair, S.; Wilson, L.; Livingstone, H.; Small, Neil A. (2016)
      Objective: To evaluate a 24/7, nurse led telephone and video-consultation support service for patients thought to be in the last year of life in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven. Method: Activity and other data recorded at the time of calls were analysed. Interviews with 13 participants captured patients and carers perspectives. Results: Between April 1st 2014 and March 31st 2015, 4648 patients were registered on the Gold Line. 42% had a non-cancer diagnosis and 46% were not known to specialist palliative care services. The median time on the caseload was 49 days (range 1-504 days). 4533 telephone calls and 573 video consultations were received from 1813 individuals. 39% of the 5106 calls were resolved by Gold Line team without referral to other services. 69% of calls were made outside normal working hours. Interviews with patients and carers reported experiences of support and reassurance and the importance of practical advice. Conclusion: A nurse led, 24/7 telephone and video consultation service can provide valuable support for patients identified to be in the last year of life and their cares. The line enabled them to feel supported and remain in their place of residence, reducing avoidable hospital admissions and use of other services. Providing this service may encourage health care professionals to identify patients approaching the last year of life, widening support offered to this group of patients beyond those known to specialist palliative care services.