Dr Matt Dore

My name is Dr Mathew Dore, I am one of the palliative care consultants and I work here at the Northern Ireland Hospice. Northern Ireland Hospice is one of the Hospices here in Belfast. It has an inpatient unit of 18 beds and it looks after the community for the majority of Northern Ireland as well for palliative care. The rapid response initiative is triage rapid response and this is an internal system in Northern Ireland Hospice and what it is essentially is a rapid turnaround to manage to see patients who urgently need it. This came to the fore in the pandemic that there are a group of patients, no matter how good we are at planning and future thinking about things there is always a cohort which will need urgent care. What we do is, the referral comes in and a team of excellent nurses overseen by one of the doctors looks at all the referrals, triages, phones over the patient or the referral themselves and figures out the urgency. Now most of those go to the community team straight away and that team of nurses go out, they see the patient. We know from our numbers that 90% of the time we are making a medication change. There is a cohort of 5-7% which come straight into the inpatient unit after being seen. We estimate 30 or 40% of those, we prevented them from having to go to the acute sector, the hospital or A&E of somewhere like that, therefore in keeping with the advance care planning of preferred place of care and death and keeping to what the patient and families want. It’s a brilliant initiative that we really want to keep going because we have seen huge difference it has made to our patients and families. Palliative care is letting people know that they are important and this is about them, how can we make it better.