Hospices launch HoBS – a new service for specialist care at end of life during COVID-19

Adult hospices across Birmingham and Solihull have come together to create a single hub – providing the very best care at end of life during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

HoBS – Hospices of Birmingham and Solihull – features John Taylor, Birmingham St Mary’s and the Marie Curie Hospice, West Midlands, joining forces to launch the new service which aims to provide rapid and expert support for local people and their families at end of life.

Based at John Taylor Hospice in Erdington, the HoBS team is formed of specialist nurses, supported by palliative care consultants, healthcare assistants, social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and administrators, who will be running a telephone hotline service.

Working with other healthcare providers across Birmingham and Solihull, the team will assess whether patients need advice, community support or admittance to one of the three hospices’ Inpatient Units for round-the-clock care. Depending on individual need, the teams will then provide that care either at people’s homes or at the hospices.

HoBS will have around 40 end of life specialists on call for people in the community, as well as additional teams at the hospice Inpatient Units.

Launched on Monday 6 April, HoBS is initially operational between 8am-8pm, but will be 24 hours a day and seven days a week from Monday 13 April.

Rachel O’Connor, Assistant Chief Executive of Birmingham and Solihull Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, said: “Across Birmingham and Solihull we have hundreds of specialist hospice staff who will be on call for people, both day and night.

“Our three adult hospices have seen the current need and acted rapidly to meet that. Working together we can provide the very best of expert care for people at the end of their lives.

“Our aim is to ensure that individuals, their families and professionals receive joined-up and easy to navigate advice, support and access to care across from our dedicated and compassionate hospice teams when they need it the most.”

Patients and healthcare professionals can contact HoBS direct on

0121 809 1900

Specific phone numbers for certain healthcare providers will be shared directly with them, in order to ensure direct and rapid contact is available at all times. St Giles Hospice’s existing 24/7 advice and referral centre will continue to operate and its referral pathway – accessible by calling 0330 330 9410 – remains the same.

Healthcare professionals can click here to download HoBs Guidance for Referrers.

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“At such a heartbreaking and difficult time, the nurses and care assistants knew exactly what to do and to say – we’d have been lost without them. The care they provided for my beautiful wife was second to none and I’ll be forever grateful.”

Roger Perks

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“I can’t thank hospice teams enough. From fitting grab rails in my house and ordering a reclining bed, reviewing of all my medication, providing me with new medical equipment and even helping to organise domestic help for us at home – they’ve covered everything but are always willing to do even more.”

Jackie Bannister

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