Most hospitals have a palliative care team which advises the patient's consultant but does not have overall responsibility for the patient's care. The PATCH model can bring benefits for patients, families, staff and the hospital.
Everyone in a hospital can contribute to caring for patients and making a difference if given the necessary support and encouragement.
Most hospitals have an advisory palliative care team. A typical team is small, consisting of one to four palliative care nurses and one or two senior doctors for hospitals with up to 800 beds. Such specialist palliative care staff may be attached to a local hospital and visit on request. Services are generally available Monday to Friday 9am–5pm.
The PATCH model
The PATCH model is relevant to any hospital.
Hospitals can submit proposals to PATCH for service development or a specific project.
Patients and families
Both patients and families will know that whatever hospital they are admitted to, skilled palliative care will be available 24 hours a day seven days a week.
Once patients are comfortable, they will have confidence that staff will take the time to talk over what is happening and to help them and their families talk about further care.
PATCH will fund palliative care teaching and training. It will help fund the provision of palliative care services 24 hours a day seven days a week.
There is a real need for more research about hospital-based palliative care and PATCH will consider applications for research funding.
PATCH will provide funds to develop hospital palliative care services. This could involve ward staff, palliative care advisory services, dedicated beds or dedicated care units.