WIGAN and Leigh Hospice has won a national Hospice Team of the Year Award in recognition of its work with nursing homes across the Borough.

The Hospice in your Care Home team won The Towergate Hospice Team of the Year Award at the Hospice UK Awards 2019 held at the ACC in Liverpool on Thursday, November 21.

The awards celebrate the innovative work and people in hospices and palliative care organisations across the UK.

The Hospice In your Care Home team, which consists of four educators and two healthcare assistants, provides training and education to nursing home staff in order to improve the care of residents in their last few weeks and days of life.

The partnership between the team and nursing homes has helped to reduce inappropriate hospital admissions for people approaching the end of life and has increased the number of people dying in their place of choice.

The number of advance care plans – in which residents record their dying wishes - has risen from 13 across eight nursing homes in 2015 to more than 100 to date.

The judges said: "This was an amazing example of cross-partnership working and demonstrates how knowledge-sharing can have a measurable impact on people’s experience of care at the end of life.

“It clearly shows how a holistic approach can reduce inappropriate hospital admissions and has helped individuals dying in their place of choice. This project can easily be scaled and replicated and we loved how the whole hospice team were included.”

Debbie Dempsey, manager of Hospice in your Care Home, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our team have been chosen as winners of this award. We are all extremely passionate about promoting dignified, person centred end of life care in nursing and residential homes and it is a pleasure to work with so many dedicated hard working care staff who genuinely want to deliver high quality care that respects their residents’ preferences and wishes.

“We gain so much pleasure and fulfilment in seeing the journey staff take when they access both structured formal education and one to one role modelling.

"We have seen so many wonderful initiatives taking place and have been able to demonstrate a reduction in the hospital admissions from the homes. Ultimately though, this award is extra special and significant as it highlights the important role the care home sector plays in delivering palliative and end of life care, one which is all too often overlooked.”

The team was set up in 2015 and is currently working with staff across 14 nursing homes.