Family carers of patients who were cared for by the Queenscourt Hospice at Home Service will be asked about their views and experiences of the service, in a new research study by Edge Hill University.

As it approaches World Hospice and Palliative Care Day (October 13th), the University has announced that it has been given additional funding to explore how the service has eased the burden on carers.

The University’s Evidence-based Practice Research Centre (EPRC) originally evaluated the Queenscourt at Home service developed by the Southport Queenscourt Hospice that aimed to allow terminally ill patients to be cared for and die at home.

It found that 73% were cared for and able to die in their own home, whilst only a small number either died in a hospice/care home or were admitted to hospital at the end of their lives. There was also overwhelming agreement from respondents that the service was having a very positive impact.

Following on from the successful evaluation, the EPRC have been awarded funding from the Merseyside and Cheshire Palliative and End of Life Care Network to explore the  specific impact of the service on the families of patients who were cared for the under the initiative.

Professor Barbara Jack, Director of the EPRC, said “Our initial evaluation showed very positive outcomes and was reported to be increasing the option for terminally ill patients to remain at home and to be cared for at home. To be given this additional funding provides an exciting opportunity for Edge Hill to continue its collaborative partnership with Dr Karen Groves and her team at Queesncourt Hospice.

“Anecdotal evidence form families suggest how much they valued the service and this project aims to explore that further. By talking to the families we will be able to pinpoint exactly what aspects of the service were most beneficial to them and how it made a difference to their lives.”

“Also, World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world and our research comes at a really poignant time because the service the Queenscourt Hospice offers is making a huge difference to patients who are dying and their families.”

The EPRC is part of the University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care and is primarily concerned with advancing evidence-based practice through education, research and development. For more information about the work of its dedicated team, visit the website edgehill.ac.uk/health/research/evidence-based-practice-research-centre/.