A NEW hospice phone line, which is taking the weight off overstretched A&E departments is proving so successful, the service is having to recruit more staff.

St Luke’s Hospice, in Basildon, runs a “OneResponse” service, which provides access to palliative and end-of-life care round the clock.

The service, which provides telephone support and arranges home visits if necessary, needs more registered nurses, community carers and call assistants, after receiving more than 3,500 calls in its first three months.

Sally Bingham, head of HR at the hospice, said: “Demand for our hospice at home and OneResponse services has exceeded expectations.

“In the first three months of operation more than 3,500 calls were received by OneResponse, all of which had to be acted upon or followed-up responding to the caller’s specific need within an appropriate time frame.

“We are experiencing an increase in calls every month as OneResponse becomes better known.

“To cope with this, and future demand, a range of roles have been developed for clinical and support staff.”

Service leaders and staff will be on hand to talk to people interested in joining the team at a recruitment day at the hospice in Nethermayne between 10am and 2pm this Saturday.

Patients or their families get support, assessment and advice from a team of nurses and other healthcare professionals, who will visit if needed.

The patients’ condition is assessed to ensure the most timely action is taken, whether it be a rapid response within two hours, an urgent response, where they are visited within 24 hours, or a routine response within five days, according to need.

The calls have triggered more than 170 rapid responses, helping provide an alternative to taking a patient to A&E.

The hospice team estimates more than 80 hospital admissions have been avoided since the service was launched.

Ms Bingham said: “This is an exciting time for people to join our hospice team because we are looking at new, innovative ways to provide patient and carer focused services, as well as work with other providers more collaboratively.

“Come and join us.”

Find out more about St Lukes here