Hospice launches phoneline for healthcare professionals

Healthcare professionals are being offered first-hand advice on palliative and supportive care through a ground-breaking new 24-hour phoneline being launched by a Suffolk hospice.

St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich is among the first hospices in the country to set up a helpline which reaches out direct to the general public as well as healthcare professionals on the subject of palliative and supportive care.
GPs, nurses, health and social care workers, other medical professionals as well as patients and carers in East Suffolk can call St Elizabeth Hospice OneCall to get expert advice at the end of the phone 24 hours a day.
It will be staffed by senior registered nurses who take direct enquiries seven days a week.
Verity Jolly, Director of Patient Services at St Elizabeth Hospice said: “We’re committed to helping improve the service we provide and OneCall will do just that. Treating a patient who will not recover from their illness can be difficult at times, so this will give that much needed support to healthcare workers as well as patients and families.”
“It’s a dedicated phone number where all the information is in one place. OneCall is one of the first telephone advice lines that reaches out to the public as well as health and social care workers,” she added.
Calls to the Hospice at Home team, a nurse-led 24 hour rapid response team, will also come to the new phoneline.
Peter Espley, of Ipswich, who cared for his wife Sheila, said: “Sheila was ill for six years and had a very complex diagnosis. I cared for her at home during most of this time and if we had an emergency situation you could guarantee it was a weekend or bank holiday. Knowing who to contact for advice was always a worry.”
“We often felt frightened and very alone. Once Sheila started being cared for by St Elizabeth Hospice it was a relief to know there was somebody available who understood and knew what to do. The new OneCall helpline will give people a great deal of comfort and reassurance.”
OneCall will improve the quality and speed of access to the support on offer and will make sure there’s one place for health professionals and patients to get advice.
Mrs Jolly added: “Our work is focused around caring for the individual’s needs and providing specialist support whenever it’s required. OneCall aims to reach as many people as possible to provide accurate and timely advice.”