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3 Driving the Way Forward (Syringe Driver Loan Project for Nursing Homes)
  1. Cath Baldry, Director of Nursing and Education
  1. Queenscourt Hospice, Southport

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Background: A total of 80,000 people die in care homes in England each year, accounting for 17% of all deaths (Department of Health, 2008). In West Lancs, Southport and Formby, 23% of all deaths occur in care homes, where a thriving palliative care link nursing home scheme exists, providing support and end-of-life education to 33 local homes. End-of-life medication given as a continuous, subcutaneous infusion via a syringe driver may be prescribed for some patients. However, not all nursing homes possess their own syringe driver due to the purchase cost, annual calibration expense, training issues or infrequent use of the equipment. Although district nursing teams provide input and support to end-of-life care patients in residential care homes, nursing homes employ their own registered nurses (RNs) and therefore do not have the benefits of district nursing input and the use of community syringe drivers. Action taken: The primary care trust agreed to provide a number of syringe drivers for nursing home use only. Queenscourt Hospice offered to be the host base for the equipment, monitor the booking in and out of the equipment and provide competency-based training for all nursing home RNs taking part in the project. Results: The setting up of the project, the training provided, the numbers of syringe drivers borrowed and the impact of the project for nursing home and district nursing staff will be described.

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