ST BARNABAS: Liver supportive care service aims to improve quality of life

Hugh Lowson
Hugh Lowson

If you are a regular reader of my column you will already know that we are embarking on an exciting, pioneering new direction at St Barnabas House.

As part of the new developments, we are reaching out to more people in the local community by introducing four new nurse specialists for patients with non-cancer related illnesses.

Kim Batchelor, our liver supportive care nurse specialist, is now in post, in addition to our renal supportive care nurse specialist, advanced heart failure nurse specialist and dementia lead nurse.

Kim will work across both hospice and community services to support patients and their families with advanced and end-stage liver disease. This includes liver failure patients who are not suitable for or have decided against transplant and have significant complex symptoms and psychological needs.

The aim of the liver supportive care service is to improve, where possible, the patient’s quality of life through effective symptom control, as well as supporting the emotional needs of patients and their families.

Liver disease is now the fifth most common cause of death in the UK and continues to have an upward trend compared to other diseases.

People dying with non-cancer diagnoses have a similar or greater need to people with cancer, and at St Barnabas House we believe we have an obligation to help everyone in our community who needs end of life care.

However, we would like to stress that these new services will be developed alongside our existing services and we are certainly not turning our back on cancer patients.

Please visit www.stbh.org.uk/hospicecarepioneers for more information about our pioneering new developments.

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