Published on: 9 May 2022
We are delighted to launch our new end of life and palliative care service in South Tyneside, giving people more choice about where they spend the last days of their life.
Our new service provides enhanced care and support in the community for people suffering life-limiting illnesses and are nearing the end of life, alongside a new dedicated End of Life and Palliative Care unit at Haven Court.
The Cedar Unit cares for adults (aged 18 and over) who have a life-limiting illness and are in the last days or weeks of their life. Patients receive 24 hour, holistic care to help manage their symptoms and make life more comfortable.
The six private rooms, situated on the ground floor of Haven Court, are newly decorated and have an ensuite bathroom with a walk-in shower and access to a calming garden area. Accommodation is also available for relatives and friends who wish to stay with their loved one.
The Cedar Unit is supported by the community palliative care team from South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. This means that patients admitted to The Cedar Unit receive seamless care from the same specialist palliative care nurses who supported them at home.
Patients requiring end of life care are often admitted to hospital, usually via A&E, by their GP or district nurse and are usually cared for on general wards. The new unit provides a comfortable and homely environment for those who do not want to die in hospital or at home.
In the future, it is hoped the unit will become a hub for a range of services, including; day services, benefits/welfare advice, counselling, holistic therapies, physiotherapy and art therapy.
Elaine Coghill, Deputy Director of Nursing at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This new approach will transform the way end of life and palliative care is currently delivered in South Tyneside.
“We want the people to have as much choice and control as possible. Providing the right care, support and dignity at the end of life is important for every single patient. That's why we've also invested in community-based services for people who prefer to die at home or in a care home.”
Dr Nousha Ali, a local GP and clinical director at NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "It's important that patients have more choice at the end of their lives, so that everyone can have the best quality care, wherever they choose to be. We have already expanded community based teams who care for people who prefer to be at home, or in a care home, at the end of their life.
"The Cedar Unit is a calm and dignified place for people who prefer not to be at home or in hospital."
The Cedar Unit is located within Haven Court, a state-of-the-art integrated care facility in its own area within the South Tyneside District Hospital site. Haven Court is a care home that specialises in residential and nursing care, dementia care and re-enablement. For many local people it is their home.
It opened in 2016 and is a wholly owned subsidiary (South Tyneside Integrated Care Limited) of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. In December 2020, Haven Court was rated ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission’ (CQC).