Hospital trust’s Dragonfly Scheme extends to the community

Posted on in Community services

The community specialist palliative care team with the new share care bags

Patients receiving end of life care at home in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland are now being given dedicated share care bags after a local hospital trust has extended its support scheme.

The Dragonfly Scheme, launched by the palliative care team at The James Cook University Hospital in 2016, aims to improve end of life care for both patients and their relatives in hospital.

As part of the scheme the team hand out comfort bags, which contain essential items like bottled water, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other toiletries, to relatives who wish to stay with their loved-one in hospital during their final days to help them cope at such a difficult time.

The community specialist palliative care team at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has now extended the scheme to support seriously ill patients at home in the Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland area.

The new share care bags are very similar to the Dragonfly Scheme’s comfort bags but have been adapted to the needs of patients who wish to spend their final days at home.

They include useful information, some necessities, plus some special memory makers such as a hand print maker kit and two knitted hearts.

Rebecca Unwin, Macmillan support sister for Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland community specialist palliative care team, said: “Often the small things such as making a memory or giving a hand massage can make a difference.

“This is why we really wanted to give our patients and their loved ones the means to empower them to achieve this within their own homes through the concept of care and share. We hope these bags will go some way in supporting them.”