August 25, 2022

Core Care Plans helps paramedics make the right decisions

Paramedics have told how they are treating end of life patients with “extra confidence” thanks to Core Care Plans.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) said our Electronic Palliative Care Co-ordination System (EPaCCS) is helping frontline staff with “clinical and conveyance decision making”.

Some 8,686 such Core Care Plans were created across Humber and North Yorkshire by the end of June.

These give all relevant clinicians their patient’s up to date care preferences and allow each health and care organisation to work off the same live record.

It means when a paramedic is sent out to visit an end of life patient they can access all of their latest wishes in one place.

Ola Zahran, Chief Technical Officer at YAS, said

We pull through the patient end-of-life care plans shared by Humber and North Yorkshire and make these accessible to front-line ambulance crews through our electronic patient record application.

Around 20-30 care plans are accessed each week and feedback from staff confirms that this information improves their confidence in treating end-of-life patients and helps with clinical and conveyance decision making.

People with 12 months left to live are put onto an end of life care plan to ensure they live as well as they can and die with dignity.

EPaCCS is a digital version of this plan which should give all relevant clinicians the patient’s up to date preferences in both their care and where they would like to die.
But often the healthcare professional with them at the critical time does not know or have access to these wishes in an authoritative single shared care record. This can be because the information is out of date, or is not shared with every relevant user in an easy-to-access format.

Our care plans allow each health and care organisation to work off the same live record. If the patient changes their wishes of a clinician updates their status everyone is instantly notified.

Paramedics for YAS were surveyed on the impact of our end of life care plans in May and June where the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

  • One told how it “gives extra confidence when making decisions around non conveyance and best interest treatment”.
  • Another said it was an “extremely useful tool” which “enabled us to access the appropriate information to give the appropriate clinical decisions and pathways”.
  • Others noted how it ensured the “correct care” decision particularly when the patient is “unable to communicate” or their family can’t recall their wishes.
  • Recalling a specific scenario, one said how it “contributed to a proper history as the relatives had mixed ideas of what was in place”.
  • Others noted how it ensured only those who wished and needed to go to hospital were sent.

It comes after Humber Coast and Vale ICS previously told how our end of life care plan had reduced stress on both clinicians and patients. They praised how it gives you the right palliative information when and where you need it.

Dr Dan Cottingham, MacMillan GP and End of Life lead for Vale of York CCG, said at the time

I have been a GP for 20 years plus and I have wanted something like this for as long as I have practiced.

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