Rapid Intervention for Palliative and End of Life Care is a project that enables more people to be cared for in their own homes when they are dying, if this is their choice.

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What is RIPEL?

RIPEL (Rapid Intervention for Palliative and End of Life Care) is a project that enhances the quality of care for patients with a life-limiting condition in Oxfordshire and South Northamptonshire. It enables more people to be cared for in their own homes when they are dying, if this is their choice. The project started in April 2022 and is funded through a partnership between Sobell House Hospice Charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, and Social Finance.

What services are offered?

There are three interlinked services:

Home Hospice Care Team

Our home hospice care team is made up of 37 patient support workers who provide hands-on care to patients dying at home. There may be one or two carers going into a patient’s home up to four times a day, helping them with essential tasks such as washing, dressing and taking medicine. This team receives specialist training and ongoing support from the teams based at Sobell House.

Rapid Response

Community Rapid Response and Hospital Rapid Response is a team made up of 23 new staff members. Some work in the hospitals in Oxfordshire and help with rapid discharge for patients who are dying and are desperate to be home. Others will work in the community to offer a same-day response to patients in crisis with symptoms or care, to try to support them staying at home if that is their wish.

Palliative Care Hub

The third aspect of the RIPEL project is enhancing our central ‘hub’ which acts as a nerve centre for the whole service – coordinating and managing care. We will be hiring 18 new staff members to enable us to be more flexible and efficient in dealing with patient enquiries. This means that the right care can be deployed more quickly and effectively.

What will this mean for our patients and their family members?

RIPEL avoids patients having to make the choice between receiving potentially poorer quality of care at home or dying in hospital. If the patient is already at home, it means they will be given access to a higher quality of care there. The project is all about being responsive and reacting to patients’ needs, and respecting and supporting a patient’s choice.

It also means that family members can be family rather than carers. They can focus on spending quality time together. What we’re hoping to do with this project is re-create the key elements of hospice care in a tiny form in every place it’s needed, giving both the patient and their loved ones the vital support and care that we know we do so well.

A Day in the Life

Read a Day in the Life by Kerry Watkinson, a patient care coordinator.

A short reflection

Read a reflection by Heather Jackson, who works in our home hospice team.

Key questions answered

Read an interview with Victoria Bradley, our Clinical Lead.