Pilot scheme will give more care at home

Philippa McCartney, Michelle Carroll, Michael Matheson MSP and Tracey McIntosh.
Philippa McCartney, Michelle Carroll, Michael Matheson MSP and Tracey McIntosh.

Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson MSP was in Kirkcaldy this week to launch a £1 million two year pilot care system.

In partnership with NHS Fife, the Marie Curie Fife Service will deliver tailored care for terminally ill patients and support for their families throughout the Kingdom.

From April 1, it aims to support up to 240 patients a year alongside existing services already in place in the area, while meeting the needs of the patients and carers in their own homes.

For the first time in Scotland, Marie Curie is asking Fife people to help deliver part of the service themselves by becoming a Marie Curie Volunteer Helper.

Their role would include visiting patients in their own homes and offer practical help as well as emotional support.

The new service will be coordinated with a locally based team which will offer a range of support including short and long periods of nursing care with support for their carers, health and practical care and emotional support and practical information provided by the volunteers.

Diana Hekerem, divisional business and service development manager for Marie Curie, said: “Building on existing services in Fife and working closely with care providers, we’ll be able to offer carers and patients with a terminal illness the choice to receive high quality care at home, where they tell us they most want to be.”

Michael Matheson added: “I am delighted to officially launch the new Marie Curie Fife Service, as it is a great example of the approach to delivering health and support services that we want to see right across Scotland.

“By working together with patients, I believe that Marie Curie and NHS Fife will be better placed to provide all the care and support that patients need at what can be an extremely difficult time.”

NHS Fife believes delivering care at home for terminally ill patients a key priority which is set out in their Sevice Delivery Plan.

The £1million funding for the project has been provided by Marie Curie and the OAK Foundation which covers the two year pilot and additional staff members including a senior nurse, health and personal care assistants, a helper service manager as well as a support team.

For more informational about becoming a Marie Curie volunteer helper contact 0845 073 8697 or email fifeservice@mariecurie.org.uk