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Building the Best end of life care

Building on the best

Poole Hospital has been named as one of only 10 in the country to take part in a new programme to improve palliative care across the UK. The ‘Building on the best’ programme will support improvements in quality and experience of palliative and end of life care across the UK.

Almost half of people who die in England and Wales currently die in hospital, yet there are considerable variations in the quality of end of life care in hospitals. This programme will include making information more accessible to patients and their families to enable more shared decision making; taking the opportunities offered by outpatient appointments to think ahead about end of life care and to discuss what matters most to each individual patient and their family, so the right plans can be put in place; improving the communication between hospitals and GPs to improve continuity for patients; and improving pain and symptom management.

The programme is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and is supported by a partnership between the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC), Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS England and the NHS Trust Development Authority in England.

Saskie Dorman, consultant in palliative medicine at Forest Holme Hospice, part of Poole Hospital, said: “Building on the Best will allow end-of-life care throughout the hospital to be more responsive to the needs of patients and their families.

“The palliative care that people receive at Poole Hospital is highly regarded, and we have been at the forefront of developments in this field in recent years.

Dr. Saskie Dorman

“Membership of this programme will allow us to further build on this work, and share best practice throughout the wider NHS to ensure as many people as possible benefit from compassionate and responsive end of life care, in which patients and their families are fully involved in decision-making and plans.

“We only have one chance to get it right, and by participating in Building on the Best we can ensure this is what we are able to do for every patient who is in their last weeks and months of life.”

Health Minister Ben Gummer said: “I am determined to improve end of life care and this excellent initiative will benefit thousands of patients and their families at one of the most difficult and vulnerable moments of their lives.

 “Thanks to the hard work of the NCPC and Macmillan, the crucial lessons from this programme can be evaluated, shared and implemented in hospitals across the country to ensure the NHS continues to provide high quality care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The programme will run for two and a half years.  There will be a thorough evaluation, and lessons learned will be used to contribute to improvement work on palliative and end of life care in acute hospitals across the country. Key staff, representing the project teams, from each of the ten will gather for first time at a two day event in March.

Anita Hayes was part of the panel who selected the ten successful trusts. She says “We were impressed by the number and the quality of the applications received. Building on the best will enable us to take this further and help develop ways for these improvements to be shared widely.”

18 February 2016

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