End of life care to get support of social work

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End-of-life care for people in Northumberland is set to benefit from a ground-breaking new specialist team for the county.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has successfully won Macmillan funding to recruit a team of four social workers who will support people with cancer and a range of life-limiting or long-term conditions.

The new team will also provide ongoing support to family and friends.

The specially-trained social workers will give people who are nearing the end of their life specialist help to access the specific care and support they need.

This will include health and social care plans tailored to the individual’s own wishes; helping people get timely, joined-up community support; arranging and coordinating hospital discharges; and supporting carers.

The goal is to improve the quality of life for the patient, their family and friends.

Daljit Lally, executive director of wellbeing and community health services, said: “We are delighted to be working with Macmillan to create this ground-breaking new team.

“People nearing the end of their life can have complex and wide-ranging care and support needs.

“By helping to coordinate access to health and social care in the community in a way that respects that person’s individual choices, the Macmillan social worker can help reduce their anxiety and stress, and ultimately improve their quality of life.

“We have a commitment to ensuring people have the best possible service and this includes helping them to have their say in where and how they are cared for.”