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Nominated for Innovation, science and technology award

Seriously ill people often want to spend their last days of life at home being cared for by family or friends.

Family or friends, if willing, can be taught how to recognise symptoms and give ‘no-needle’ medicines when their dying loved one is too weak to swallow. This means not having to wait for a doctor or nurse to arrive to give such medicines. This practice has been successfully used in Australia for many years.

The North Wales-based team of researchers and clinicians led UK research on the practice, developed All-Wales policy for it, and put the CARiAD (CARer ADministration) package into clinical use in North Wales in 2020. Their work is helping to spread this practice across the UK.

The outcomes of the innovation are excellent: dying people’s symptoms are treated much quicker, with waits down from 105 to 10 minutes. Family and friends feel well-supported and empowered: they value the opportunity to support a loved one’s wish to be at home in this way.

This evidence-based approach is responding to changing priorities and needs within society, supporting choice at the very end of life.

Winner of the Health and Care Research Wales 2023 Innovation in Practice Award.