Staff from wards at two community hospitals in Dorset have received a major confidence boost, after becoming the latest to receive the Gold Standards Framework Quality Hallmark Award, in recognition of their end of life care. The success of the wards at Alderney Hospital in Poole and Westminster Memorial Hospital, Shaftesbury, means eight of Dorset’s 11 community hospitals have now received the accolade.
Representatives of Guernsey and Jersey wards from Alderney Hospital and Ashmore and Shaston (accredited as one) at Westminster Memorial, received their awards from Jacqueline McKenna, Director of Nursing, NHS Improvement, at the National GSF annual conference in London on 29 September 2017.
These wards are following in the footsteps of the hospitals at Swanage, Wareham, Portland, Blandford and Sherborne whose end of life care was accredited by GSF in 2016.
Senior nursing staff at the two hospitals credited the GSF programme with a major uplift in confidence among staff in dealing with patients who are approaching the end of life and said receiving the award provide them with a further boost.
Anne Hiscock, Matron at Westminster Memorial Hospital, said: “The Gold Standards Framework (GSF) award has really given the staff at WMH a tremendous boost in morale as they feel that they have been recognised for the care they deliver made even better with the GSF principles embedded in to practice.”
Precious Whild, Senior Sister at Guernsey Ward at Alderney Hospital, said: “The Gold Standards Framework has given staff the confidence to broach the subject of end of life care with patients giving them (the patients) the freedom and confidence to fulfil their wishes when it comes to their care as they approach their final months.”
Having completed the GSF Community Hospitals Training Programme, all of the wards were assessed by a panel of independent experts. The wards also 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 have demonstrated the ability to better plan patients’ care with GPs and District Nurses, and fulfil their wishes in terms of how and where they are cared for.
Dr Jacqueline McKenna, Director of Nursing of Professional Leadership at NHS Improvement said: “Celebrating success in the NHS is a valuable part of learning and sharing best practice. I am delighted at the hard work and dedication of staff at Dorset community hospitals and hope this achievement encourages their staff to continue to make positive changes for patients in years to come.
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