Ward staff in Lincolnshire hospitals are receiving specialist training in caring for patients needing palliative or end of life care, as part of a new commitment to improving care for these patients.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust together with St Barnabas Hospice has recently appointed a new team to focus on palliative and end of life care.
A new matron and two end of life coordinators are working to ensure patients at the end of life are involved in decisions about their care and given access to the best possible care, in the right place for them. Research shows that at any one time, 30% of patients in a hospital are in their last year of life.
Matron for Palliative and End of Life Care, Kerry Bareham said, “My role is about demystifying what palliative and end of life care is. There is real anxiety about talking about death and dying and therefore we are not very good at it. People expect those caring for them to have the skills necessary to identify and communicate with those people who would benefit from palliative care and are entering the final year or so of their life.
“This is about enabling patients and their families to be involved and understand their plans of care and giving them access to timely support in the community and working with the third sector too,” she said.
“It’s also about developing the skills of staff on the wards to help them identify and have the skills to talk to people with palliative care needs about their wishes and preferences.”
The Trust has also recently recruited two end of life coordinators to work across Lincolnshire’s hospitals, delivering training to staff on the wards to improve the care of end of life and palliative patients. It centres around communication, risk assessment and planning care for patients and their families.
St Barnabas Hospice Director of Patient Care, Michelle Webb, said: “St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice is delighted to be working in partnership with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust to support the delivery of high quality end of life care for the people of Lincolnshire.
“I am confident that this new and exciting matron role, along with the facilitators, will support improvements for patients and staff in the acute trust and wider healthcare community.”