Patient support is a vital component of rehabilitation. Having a long term condition impacts not only on the physical well-being of the patient, but also has much wider implications which may range from an emotional, social and financial impact both for patients and their families. We place a great emphasis on support delivered within the hospital and, when needed, continuing in the community. To help deliver this service we have a symptom control, supportive care and palliative care service. These services are delivered by the Symptom Control Clinical Nurse Specialist at London Bridge Hospital, Annie James-Woollacott.
Annie’s role is to ensure that patients receive care to control any physical symptoms, including pain, and also to ensure wider emotional and practical support is available, again both within the hospital and the community. Some patients may require more specialised support, such as palliative care. This is specialist medical and supportive care for people with serious illness, and support for their families. Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of a serious diagnosis, and for people of any age. The care and support offered can be provided alongside life-prolonging treatments, and can give an added layer of support for both patients and their families. To ensure that this care is delivered, Annie works closely with other members of the healthcare team at London Bridge Hospital as well as primary healthcare teams (such as district nurses and G.Ps) and community specialist palliative care teams. All care is planned with the patient to ensure it is tailored and individual to meet their particular needs and preferences.