4th November 2013 – Helpline launched for seriously and terminally ill patients
A new helpline for patients who have a serious illess and may be in the last year of their lives was launched today (4 November) across Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven.
The dedicated ‘Gold Line’ telephone number aims to provide one point of contact for patients and their carers for help and advice, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, to support them in their preferred place of care wherever possible.
The pilot scheme is not expected to replace patients’ use of their GP and other community health care services during normal working hours but aims to enhance their care when daytime services have closed. Calls will be answered by a team of experience nurses in the Telehealth Hub at Airedale Hospital who are linked up to community-based teams, who can visit patients if necessary.
Drs Helen Livingstone and Linda Wilson, palliative care consultants at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We know that these patients want to spend as much time at home as possible and by providing extra support we hope the Gold Line will help this to happen. However, hospital admissions can also be arranged if required.”
Dr Ian Fenwick, GP and the Woodroyd Centre, Bradford, and the district’s clinical lead for cancer, said: “The new helpline will give patients and their carers quick and easy access to experienced nurses, who can offer advice and support and coordinate the most appropriate response to their needs.”
Colleagues from across local health community including consultants, GPs, district nurses, a local hospice, patients and carers, have been working on the project.
The Gold Line service will support patients who are on the Gold Standards Framework (GSF).