Wards at four community hospitals in Dorset are the latest to be recognised for the quality of care they are providing their patients as they approach the end of their lives, helping many to return home quickly if that is their wish.
Suzanne Jones presented Stanley Purser Ward, at Swanage Hospital, Saxon Ward, Wareham Hospital, Castletown Ward, Portland Hospital and The Willows Intermediate Care Centre, Yeatman Hospital, Sherborne with the Quality Hallmark Awards at the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) annual conference in London on 30 September.
Suzanne said “The Gold Standards Framework provides staff in community hospitals with the tools to play a key role in the care of people approaching the end of their lives and provide support for their family and friends.” “These four hospitals have demonstrated that by identifying patients entering the last stage of life and working closely with them to plan their care as they would like it, they can be the lynchpin in ensuring people receive the care they want, where they want it.”
Having completed the GSF Community Hospitals Training Programme, all of the wards were assessed by a panel of independent experts. The four demonstrated that they were well placed to meet their patients’ needs at this most vulnerable time, helping them communicate their wishes and coordinate their care. The hospitals also proved the ability to better plan patients’ care with GPs and District Nurses, enabling many to return home quickly when they’ve made expressed this preference.
Natasha Norman, Senior Sister at Stanley Purser Ward, Swanage Hospital said: “GSF has helped us plan and deliver care to our patients in a coordinated way, completely in line with their wishes. By making staff more confident about engaging patients in potentially difficult conversations about their preferences we are much better placed to ensure they receive the right care for them in the most appropriate place.”
The GSF Centre is the UK’s largest provider of training for health and social care staff, enabling them to help people live well as they approach the end of their lives. The Community Hospital training programme has been developed to enhance care within the community in planning and implementing care for those patients thought to be in the last stage of life. The GSF Centre is already used widely in GP surgeries, care homes and acute hospitals.
Shirley Dow, Senior Sister at Castletown Ward, Portland Hospital, said: “Staff at Portland Community hospital have always felt passionate about end of life care and have endeavoured to support patients and carers through this emotional time. By gaining accreditation in GSF, this has ratified the excellent care that the team gives, but we will continue to strive to improve our service. We are now planning to introduce more training and improving our links with our local hospice and local GP surgery.”
GSFNational Clinical Director Professor Keri Thomas, welcomed the latest additions to the list of community hospitals completing GSF accreditation and improving care for people nearing the end of life, bringing to 20 the total number of accredited wards and said: “Dorset has a proud tradition of community hospitals and this quartet have shown us what is possible and achievable in hospital care. They have made a real difference to the lives of their patients and families and shown that high quality care can be delivered for all people nearing the end of life. Most notably, they now achieve early identification rates of over 30% (some of the first hospitals in the UK to do this, in line with recent research evidence), offer Advance Care Planning discussions to all these patients and are able to work well with GPs and the community to support a more proactive approach.”
For more information please follow the link to the GSF programme