Dying well at home: the case for integrated working
Practice example 12: Community Intravenous Therapy Team
The Community Intravenous Therapy Team is a team of specialist nurses who have undergone additional training and development in the delivery of intravenous therapies. The aim of the team is to give people at the end of life the option of early hospital discharge and to reduce avoidable admissions. This extends the offer of care being provided either at home or in community health clinics. The team works closely with GPs to prevent admissions to secondary care. It offers clinical leadership, education, assessment and support within primary care in the management of patients requiring intravenous therapies. Through audit, education and research it aims to continually update the knowledge base and practice built on national evidence.
Therapies offered include intravenous antibiotics, iron, blood and platelet transfusions and the maintenance of intravenous access devices, including syringe drivers and cannulas.
The team works closely with local hospices, specialist palliative care teams, consultant haematologists, microbiologists, infection control physicians and secondary care consultants. It also links with the specialist practitioner of transfusion, infection control nurses and laboratory scientists.
The team includes founder members of the North West Merseyside and Cheshire Collaborative Intravenous Nursing Service group. It has developed guidelines that are now adopted across the region to standardise the care and maintenance of venous access devices across the region.
Christine McBride, Specialist Palliative Care Team Leader, Liverpool.