Project information

24/7 Advice/ Helpline

Last year we piloted our nurse -led 24/7 phone line to a number of existing patients.

We wish to make this a permanent service to offer support and care in what is seen within the healthcare sector as being ‘out of hours’. 86% of those using Weldmar services last year were over 55 years old.

After the launch and initial year longer term funding will be sought

Charity information: Weldmar Hospicecare

Weldmar Hospicecare logo
  • Need


    The challenge for Weldmar Hospicecare is how to reach more people with our services by maximising our finite resources. We have to be realistic in that we cannot have all people who need our support as patients on the IPU, and nor should we, as this level of clinical input would be unnecessary for most


    The phone line was set up to manage demands for support and care in what is seen within the healthcare sector as being ‘out of hours’. In actual fact, the demand for services in the evening and early hours of the morning is very common amongst palliative care patients.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Fewer unnecessary admissions to both Weldmar’s in-patient unit and local A & E departments.


    » Wide publication of the service contact details through al patient interactions

    Data collected and compared against baseline and historical data

    Aim 2

    Provide An extension of the care and support we offer to patients and relatives.


    » Making our staff easily accessible via a single number

    Feedback from patients and patient surveys

    Aim 3

    Giving reassurance to our patients


    » Staff have access to patient's notes when speaking to callers

    Feedback from patients and patient surveys

    Aim 4

    Directing Weldmar’s resources to where they can be used most effectively


    » Utilising existing nursing during 'normal' hours and putting an 'out of hours' structure in place

    Cost comparison from in-patient to community support looking at historical data

  • Impact


    The project will fundamentally change the level of service that we are able to offer to patients and carers and enhance the bespoke nature of the care we offer to all of those who are referred to our services.


    The two main risks identified are a) the level of initial demand may be very high on the service and b) expectations about the service may be unrealistic.
    Some of these issues were tested during the pilot period. We plan to phase the launch of the line publicising to patients we think would benefit most before launching wider publicity. This publicity would contain a clarity about what we are able to offer in order to manage expectations.


    There will be specific reports about the effectiveness of the line. this will be a combination of statistical information and feedback and case studies from those who have accessed the service.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £8,085

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £6,546 Pro-rata salary Band 6 nurse to cover weekend out of hours on the line
      £622 National Insurance Band 6 nurse to cover weekend out of hours on the line
      £917 Pension contribution Band 6 nurse to cover weekend out of hours on the line
  • Background


    The population of Dorset is approximately 700,000 living in sparsely distributed rural areas. Weldmar provides services within the predominantly rural North, West and South Dorset covering a population of approximately 256,000. One in four people are over retirement age .
    Transport and local facilities are very limited and people in Dorset are among the 20% most deprived in England in terms of access.


    At any one time we have an average of 300 patients being supported in their own homes, any of these people and their relatives could use the service. The service will be limited to patients under the care of a Weldmar healthcare professional at this stage.

    Though the phone line is open to all Weldmar patients and relatives, 86% of those supported by Weldmar last years were over 55 years old.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Weldmar Hospice Care strategic plan 2015-2020 is focused on putting the patient at the centre of everything we do. Patients have told us that they wish to retain their independence and dignity throughout their illness and for as long as possible.
    The core of the Weldmar business plan is to promulgate best practice that directly impacts on the quality of life for patients and their families.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Emma Millls

    Helping prepare and implement protocols. Dealing directly with callers, escalating queries when necessary and recording information on the database