Three months of Weldmar at Home: “We can’t speak highly enough of the service”
Our team have been providing care across Dorset for patients choosing to die at home
In July this year, Weldmar Hospicecare launched Weldmar at Home. It has been one of the biggest expansions to our service. In the first three months there have been almost 1,000 home visits clocked up by the team.
Weldmar at Home provides care to patients who are in the very last weeks and days of life. It also supports their families, all in the comfort of their own home if that is where they choose to be.
Like all of Weldmar’s services, it is provided free of charge by the charity.
Weldmar at Home Team Lead Mary Brice says: “The launch of the Weldmar at Home Service has exceeded all my expectations. For a small service we have been able to provide an amazing amount of care to people living across our ‘patch’. This is in both towns and in rural communities. Our team of healthcare assistants tell me that they feel that they are making a difference and that the role is rewarding. I am delighted by the feedback we have received so far from patients, families and other health professionals.”
In the first three months, 935 home visits were made across Dorset. There were more than 2,000 hours of care being delivered to just over 70 patients.
34% of patients have requested overnight care, whilst the rest have requested daytime support. The service has been able to be implemented within 24 hours in the majority of cases.
In one case, a patient in Dorset County Hospital really wanted to go home to die. However the team were aware that sourcing funding and allocating care would take days. A direct conversation between the hospital specialist team and Weldmar at Home resulted in his care being arranged within hours. This allowed the patient to go home and be cared for where he wanted to be.
There was also a situation which was becoming increasingly fragile. Elderly relatives were struggling to cope with the increasing demands of caring for a loved one. The family were at breaking point. They were often considering dialling 999 resulting in an emergency admission to A&E. The Weldmar at Home team were able to provide support around the wishes of both the patient and their loved ones. This often included relieving them at night. This meant the relatives could have a good night’s sleep, with the assurance that the patient was still receiving a high level of care.
Patients have been cared for by the Weldmar at Home team in North, West, and South Dorset since it started in July.