ACCORD Hospice in Paisley has committed to further develop its community-based services, bolstered by a £200,000 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund over the next two years.

As a result of the pandemic, over the past year the development of ACCORD’s existing community services has progressed more quickly than anticipated, with steps being taken to unify services and teams to provide an individualised holistic model of virtual and in-person care, with the vision of the new ‘Community Hub’ being brought to life in the coming months.

The additional funding has allowed ACCORD to employ seven new staff members to complement the existing community team – resulting in a total investment from the charity of £500,000.

These additional staff will help facilitate the launch of a new service, ‘ACCORD@Home’, which aims to support existing packages of care, resulting in more people with life limiting illnesses being able to get the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

The aim of this service will focus on three distinct areas – supportive discharges from the hospice, crisis intervention to prevent unwanted hospital or hospice admissions and supporting those facing end of life to do so in their own homes.

Services being planned by the charity include a befriending service called ‘Buddies@ACCORD’; a diversional therapy service called ‘Umatter@ACCORD’ to reach highly dependent patients within the community; ‘Outpatients@ACCORD’ aimed at giving patients access to a full multi-disciplinary team during appointments if required; and ‘NeighbourlySupport@ACCORD’, which looks to address small interventions people may need on a daily basis including dropping off a pint of milk, picking up prescriptions, or a quick chat over a cup of tea.

David McFadden, Fundraising and Communications Manager at ACCORD, said: “The impact of the pandemic has demonstrated just how important community-based services are for patients of the hospice and their families. Whilst we’ve experienced a challenging year, an undoubtedly positive outcome is the acceleration of the development of our community services – and we’re delighted to be bringing it all together within our ‘Community Hub’.

“The project will bring together our community services and staff, utilising their breadth of experience and skills to create an individualised, patient-centred approach that meets patient goals, supports our professional colleagues in the community as well as meeting the palliative care strategy for patients living in Renfrewshire and parts of East Renfrewshire.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to receive funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, which has helped to bring this project to life. The start date for our new staff is imminent, with the launch of our ‘Community Hub’ services soon to follow. Once ready, our plan is to engage with all our community colleagues and services, to determine the best way forward for palliative care within our catchment areas.

“None of this is possible without funding, including generous donations from our supporters and fundraisers, and we cannot thank them enough for the contributions they continue to make.”