National grant enables St Barnabas to pilot Frailty Wellbeing Programme

St Barnabas House currently plays a part in supporting the care of around a quarter of the local population in the Worthing, Adur, Arun and Henfield areas that die each year, but we want to do more. And thanks to a recent grant awarded by the Kirby Laing Foundation to support Hospice UK’s Extending Frailty Care programme, we are now a step closer to helping more people in our community as we prepare to pilot a new wellbeing programme next month, designed to support older people with frailty. The programme is free of charge and open for self-referrals as well as from GPs in the local area.

St Barnabas is one of 11 hospices in the country taking part in the Extending Frailty Care programme, with the intention of developing and delivering innovative high-quality care for people aged over 65 with advancing frailty.

“A lot has changed since St Barnabas House first opened its doors 50 years ago when the hospice cared for nine patients in the first two weeks,” says CEO Amanda Fadero. “But some things haven’t changed – like our commitment to providing the best quality of care to the 285,000- catchment population that we serve, and striving to ensure that everyone has fair access to the support they need and are empowered to make decisions around their care.

“Our catchment population is older than most hospices in the UK, and the proportion of older people in our local community is forecast to increase. With frailty being a significant factor in the deaths of most people aged over 85, we want to help more people get the support they need.”

According to Hospice UK, there are currently 1.2 million people living in the UK with moderate frailty. Typically, frailty involves a gradual decline in physical activity and strength over many months or years.

“With an older population, frailty is something we are seeing more of, and as a hospice we are uniquely placed to help,” explains Amanda. “At present, we do not know the best ways for palliative care and hospices services to support older people with frailty and their caregivers, which is why this pilot is important as we seek to explore how support provided early in a person’s journey can help them have a better quality of life and live independently for longer.”

The grant of £46,606 will enable us to pilot a frailty wellbeing programme as part of our Living Well service, to identify and provide proactive planning, education and support to older people living with frailty.

“We have set ourselves some ambitious care plans for the next five years as we recognise the hospice’s role as a provider, planner and advisor of high-quality end-of-life and palliative care. A huge part of this involves working collaboratively with other health and care providers and helping to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions,” says Amanda.

“There are opportunities for us to play a greater role in supporting our health partners to deliver a palliative care approach to care for people with lower intensity needs across a range of diagnoses, including frailty and dementia. Our Living Well service is central to this, and this grant enables us to pilot a frailty wellbeing programme which we hope will help people with frailty to live well, stay independent at home for longer and make decisions about, and plan, their future care.”

Join the Wellbeing Programme pilot:

Do you rely on others for help to stay independent around your home or when you go out? Maybe this sounds like someone you know or care for? If so, St Barnabas House’s new frailty wellbeing programme can help, by addressing some of the challenges that come with aging and reduced mobility. Helping you to live well and stay independent for longer.

The Frailty Wellbeing Programme starts on 4 October with six weekly 90-minute sessions covering a range of topics, including managing fatigue and energy levels, keeping active, eating well, emotional wellbeing, and planning ahead.

As well as receiving practical support and tips for living well, being part of the Frailty Wellbeing Programme pilot also means that you will be helping to inform the future of care nationally – getting your voice heard and shaping future services to improve the quality of life for older people living with frailty.

Refer yourself, or a loved one, to Living Well's frailty programme

To find out more or to sign up for the programme call 01903 706360 or sign up below:

Self referral form