The Community Nurse Specialist Team are nurses specialising in symptom control, support and advice about palliative care needs. They mainly see people in their own homes and also, increasingly, in healthcare clinics. The CNS are available Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm. The team comprises experienced nurses with additional qualifications in palliative care. They are employed by and funded by LOROS and work in conjunction with Macmillan Nurses (funded by NHS) forming one team to provide a seamless, nurse specialist service across Leicestershire and Rutland. Many of the team members are able to prescribe a range of medications to treat patients' symptoms.
The nurses based at LOROS have the support of a team administrator and secretary as well as an excellent group of volunteers. The CNS team complements the services provided by GP's and district nurses in the community, usually when symptom control or the distress of the patient's illness becomes difficult. A CNS assesses both the patient's needs and those of the family, looking at the ‘whole picture' and not just the illness. Pre-empting problems before a crisis occurs forms a large part of the role. They also provide informal and formal training and education for patients and their family, as well as for health and social care professionals in order to improve everyone's knowledge of palliative care.
FACT: The LOROS CNS Team has a combined case load of approximately 300 patients at any one time.
FACT: 97% of patients seen by the LOROS CNS Team have cancer.
FACT: It currently costs approximately £120 to fund a visit from a LOROS CNS team member.
Referrals for a Nurse Specialist intervention can be made through the patient's General Practitioner, District Nurse, Hospital Consultant, hospital palliative care team, or by self-referral. Please contact LOROS, or download the Referral Form for completion by the relevant healthcare professional.