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Improving end of life care

Senior sister, Karen Segovia and nurse, Joanna Maycock have been instrumental in implementing the new care plans on Ward 30 at Heartlands Hospital

In April 2017, a quality improvement project focusing on End of Life Care started on Ward 30 at Heartlands Hospital. As part of this project, a suite of three types of new documentation was devised focussing on recognising someone in the last months of their life, managing uncertainty, and care in the very last
days of life.

Lead palliative care nurse Jennifer Brewer said: “It is crucial that the care we deliver at the end of life is of the highest quality it can be. Whether in the very last months or days of life, it is important that patients and their families have the opportunity to make plans in a supportive environment. Every moment matters, and every person’s individual needs and wishes should be taken into account at all times. Trying to achieve what matters most to each person is so important.”

Dr Chantal Meystre, palliative care consultant, said: ”The plans were devised using up-to-date policy directives and benchmarking those of other services.

“Working with the team on Ward 30 throughout the project has been a great experience. We couldn’t have worked with a more dedicated and enthusiastic team. Their feedback throughout the project has been of great benefit in helping us to refine the care plans to become practical and helpful documents.”

Whilst audit work continues, preliminary results are promising with evidence of a significant improvement in the quality of end of life care delivery against many of our newly devised measures. Learning from this initial project will be built upon in the next phase and before this project is introduced more widely across the Trust.

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