A vital new phone service has been launched to support patients with life-limiting illnesses. The Palliative Care Hub, which is commissioned by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and operated by Arthur Rank Hospice Charity in partnership with HUC, was launched at 5.30pm on 6 April, 2021.

Initially the phone line will be available between 5.30pm and 9.30am Monday to Friday, with a 24-hour service on weekends. The future vision is that the team will provide the service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The phone service will provide expert advice and guidance regarding accessing care and appropriate services for adult patients living with a life-limiting illness in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough, as well as relatives, friends, carers, GPs and other healthcare professionals who are supporting someone needing specialist palliative support. It is available to all, regardless of whether support is in already in place, or not.

Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialists will answer all phone calls providing advice and support on a case-by-case basis, overnight and at the weekends when it may be most needed. The team aims to coordinate a wrap-around service and will act as a gateway to other services: signposting callers to other healthcare professionals where helpful; and/or completing referrals to specialist services as needed.

Professor Stephen Barclay, Clinical Lead for End of Life Care for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, explains what the service was designed to achieve:

“The aim of the Palliative Care Hub is to ensure that people facing life-limiting illness and, those who are at the end of life, are able to access the support they need, when they need it. The phone line seeks to help enhance quality of life, enable a more positive experience of care and support, reduce avoidable hospital admissions and give patients more choice in accessing their preferred place of care.”

To contact the team please call NHS 111 and select option 3. If you would like to find out more about the service in general, please call 01223 675777.