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What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

Our palliative care day centre closed on the 17th March 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. Our patient audit informed us that the patients miss the social interaction within a safe space that understands the impact of living with a life limiting illness. The ethos of the day centre is to enable these patients to live until they die, achieving what matters to them; one patient said “I was dying until I came to the day centre and now I am living”.

The day centre leader began linking in with The Martlet’s hospice in Brighton attending their on-line; seated yoga, breathing class and visualisation sessions. As a result they began an enquiry in to providing virtual day centre services, which would meet the current need, protect our day services in light of a second wave and become an opportunity to modernise and transform.

What does your project aim to achieve?

Our survey highlighted that approximately 90% of our patient group both had the technology needed and a reasonable level of ability to access this arena. Providing an online day centre would increase our reach beyond our current caseload to enable attendance to include in-patient hospice patients, those who are still working, have young families, are carers, and those who would not typically engage with the current day centre due to its traditional reputation in society- many people think of day centres as for the elderly. We could also offer sessions to carers and the bereaved in carefully managed groups. Focussed on current evidence we will offer specific sessions e.g. mindfulness, breathlessness management, visualisation, gentle exercise such as chair yoga. With improved IT skills and equipment we can also venture into providing an on-line video library offering advice on managing breathlessness, anxiety, insomnia, poor appetite for example.

How will the project be delivered?

A focus group, have trialled 3 online sessions. Feedback from the pilot sessions include from spouses; “I think it’s great to think outside the box and gives him a boost talking to others” -“It’s good for him, helps him feel he’s still got connections and still feels part of it.” And from a patient; “It was brilliant, good, so lovely to see everyone, everyone participated, so blessed” The day centre lead reported that it was ‘absolute joy to recreate the atmosphere. It opens an otherwise closed world to them.

The focus group began using an online platform  and are developing a schedule of sessions. The next phase of implementation involves designing the content for each session enlisting experts such as yoga teachers, to ensure that we offer high quality, safe sessions. We plan to employ a quality improvement approach to each stage of implementation.

How is your project going to share learning?

Learning will be shared to other hospices and day services through links with Association Palliative Day Services. With other local hospices and nationwide. There are many opportunities for sharing

locally once we have reached a stage in the development that can be scaled beyond the community and in patient hospice setting. Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals are due to merge with Poole Hospital to become University Hospitals Dorset, this opens up many forums and avenues for sharing across the two Hospices, two Hospitals and two community palliative care services in the future.

How you can contribute

  • The experience of the Q community is using different online meeting technologies - Teams, Zoom etc - for similar projects
  • The experience of the Q community of which things have added most value in projects similar to this for example staff/ equipment/ software/ licenses.

Plan timeline

11 Oct 2020 3rd trial using service users
18 Oct 2020 Following review by 'Teams project manager' agreed move to zoom
18 Oct 2020 yoga teacher recruited


  1. Hi - The organisation I work for has just re-started group patient education sessions and support groups for a range of people using Zoom as our tool. I'm happy to share info once these have run a few sessions - on how they have worked, what patients have found and evaluation.

    During Covid we have been using video for 1-1 patient check ins eg our volunteer befrienders, and also for  clinical support such as physio providing exercise support and feedback, OT, and a range of other clinical services. Happy to share more on this if useful





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