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End of Life Care service recognised for providing high quality care

End of life care team smiling
End of Life Care service recognised for providing high quality care
20 June 2022

Our End of Life Care Service has received national recognition for its services to support people, and their families, who are receiving end of life care.

The recent National Audit of Care at the End of Life (NACEL) has scored our Trust above the national average in each area as well as scoring the highest mark in areas such as communication, involvement in decision making, governance and workforce.

The audit is based on 4 core elements:

  • Organisational audit: which focuses on Trust policies and processes, activity, the specialist palliative care workforce, staff training and anticipatory prescribing.
  • A case note review: which reviewed 20 consecutive deaths between 12 April to 25 April and then again between 1 May and 14 May 2021. The review looked at expected and imminent deaths. Deaths classified as ‘sudden deaths’ were excluded.
  • A quality survey: which involved 58 bereaved families during this audit period asking them about their experince end of life care for their family member.
  • Staff feedback: designed to focus on themes of staff experience, confidence, support and culture.

The scores further recognise the transformation that has taken place across the service over the past few years and is now rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Clinical Director for End of Life Care, Shane Moody, said: “Effective and compassionate end of life care improves the quality of life of the dying person and those important to them. We are really proud that this latest audit of our of end of life services, demonstrates that we are providing high quality, safe and person centered care to our patients and their loved ones.

“We have come a long way since being rated inadequate in 2016 by the CQC and it is a testament to everyone’s commitment and hard work to where we are today.”

With over 56% of deaths each month being ‘expected deaths’ the team have transformed the service to ensure people and their families are given the best possible care and support they need.

Some of the key improvements have been the opening of Wellow Unit, a dedicated unit which opened in February 2020 to provide end of life care and enhanced training for staff.

Our Trust’s partnership with the local hospice, Mountbatten, has also meant there is an integrated palliative and end of life care service, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Education and training in advanced and enhanced communication skills for staff has meant that patients and their families feel listened to and they feel involved in their care.

Shane continued: “The last 2 years have been particularly challenging for people who may not have been able to spend time with their loved ones in their final days due to the restrictions that were in place because of the pandemic.

“So it is important that we can take learnings from the pandemic, what went well and what can we do better. One area we plan to focus on is improving staff education, particularly when it comes to early recognition of when someone may die.

“By being able to recognise when someone is going to die and involving the End of Life Care Team at an early stage, together we can provide people with the right care of their choice and support the team caring for them.”

The full audit summary and results can be found on the NACEL’s website.

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