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Making informed economic choices about future funding of bed days in a hospice specialist palliative care unit

Chris Benson, Director of Patient Care, St Peter's Hospice, Bristol

Chris's case study was completed in October 2015 and reflects 2015 prices

Charitable organisations such as hospices are often seen as the local providers of specialist palliative care beds. These are very expensive to run, and the increased dependency of patients means that workforce demands are higher and resources stretched.

St Peter’s Hospice, the only adult hospice in the Greater Bristol area, is a case in point. The hospice offers inpatient, outpatient and community services. Whilst the inpatient unit (IPU) is highly valued by patients and professionals, it accounts for just under 50% of the entire hospice budget. On numerous occasions, admissions to its 18 IPU beds had to be restricted due to pressures on workloads.

Director of Patient Care, Chris Benson, wanted to address the strain that this was placing on her nursing workforce. Counter-intuitively, she believed that by reducing the number of in-patient beds from 18 to 15 and increasing occupancy, she could actually release cash, increasing the capacity of her team and the quality of the overall service.

You can contact Chris by email chris.benson@stpetershospice.org

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Presentation from a breakfast event, Demonstrating the value of nurse-led innovations in End of Life Care, which took place on 27 April 2016