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St Christopher’s partners with Marie Curie

St Christopher's joins forces with Marie Curie to improve out of hours support for people living with a terminal illness

PUBLISHED
2 March 2020

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Our new Rapid Response service, launched on Monday 2 March, will be available overnight, seven days a week, 365 days a year for people living with a terminal illness in Bromley and Lewisham.

With 82% of people saying they would choose to die in the comfort of their own home[1], services like this one are vital, especially as hospital deaths are higher than the national average at 48.5% in Bromley and 52.7%[2] in Lewisham. Through the partnership, we will aim to reduce A&E admissions and help people to stay at home. 

The Rapid Response service will be available to give information and advice over the phone as well as urgent, hands-on care for people in their own homes. Both Marie Curie and St Christopher’s recognise that people living with life-limiting and terminal illnesses need to have access to support 24-7 and this service will make sure nurses are able to offer advice over the phone as well as hands on support to relieve any unwanted symptoms and maximise people’s comfort throughout the night.

Since 2017 St Christopher’s has experienced a 49% increase in the amount of out of hours calls that it receives. Now, working together, Marie Curie and St Christopher’s can strengthen out of hours care and make sure local people are looked after whenever and wherever they need it.

Katie Hill, 36, from Lewisham, has been supported by St Christopher’s since 2018, and has used St Christopher’s night service before.

“Whenever we’ve been visited at home, the staff are always such friendly faces and they bring such a calm presence. They really make time for you, to make sure that you, and whoever else is in the house, has the support that’s needed. It really helps that they know your history too, so it doesn’t need explaining again.”

David Abbott, Katie’s husband, adds, “Having this service gives us a reassuring presence; when things get beyond our own control, we know that we have a back-up. Sometimes it can just be a call, not always a visit, and we can double-check our thinking and ask advice”.

The staff are always such friendly faces and they bring such a calm presence. They really make time for you, to make sure that you, and whoever else is in the house, has the support that’s needed. 

Katie and David in the gardens at St Christopher’s

Adebusola Olalekan-Sule, Marie Curie Clinical Nurse Manager for south east London, said: “We are delighted to be launching the Rapid Response service in partnership with St Christopher’s, which we hope will be a great benefit to the people of Bromley and Lewisham who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. One of the main benefits of Rapid Response is to help reduce admissions to local hospitals and we constantly hear that most people who are terminally ill would rather be treated in their own home. When our nurses attend a home, they provide practical support not only for the patient but for the whole family.”

If you want to find out more about the Marie Curie and St Christopher’s Rapid Response service please contact St Christopher’s on 020 8768 4500.


[1] The National Survey of Bereaved People (VOICES) 2014

[2]  https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/end-of-life/data#page/0/gid/1938132883/pat/46/par/E39000018/ati/165/are/E38000004

PUBLISHED
2 March 2020

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