Referrals to the unit come from the community via GP’s, Macmillan Nurses, or District Nurses, and from the Day Hospice. via medical or nursing staff,Clinic and wards within University Hospital Aintree at the request of medical staff or Specialist Palliative Care Nurses, and also from other hospitals, mainly Clatterbridge Centre of Oncology.
Reasons for admission include assessment and symptom control, rehabilitation following treatment and terminal care.The Liverpool Care of the Dying Pathway is recognised as best practice for care of the dying patient and is used on the unit.
The physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs of patients are assessed and an individualised plan of care formulated. Patients progress and discharge planning is discussed in the weekly Multi-professional Team meetings.
Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy assessment and treatment may include the use of heat packs, tens machine, and acupuncture to alleviate patients symptoms. Medication used for symptom control is administered orally, topically and subcutaneously via a syringe driver. Patients with complex pain are reviewed weekly by the Chronic Pain Team and offered interventions such as cordotomy, epidural and intrathecal block if it is deemed appropriate. These procedures are performed in the Walton Neurological Centre.
The unit is available for out-of hours advice and information by hospital wards and community staff.