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More praise for inspirational end-of-life suite

Poole Hospital’s nationally-recognised suite for children requiring end-of-life care including unexpected or sudden death has picked up an award for excellence.

Gully's PlaceThe team behind Gully’s Place, based on the children’s unit, has been named winner in the excellence in patient care category of the NHS Thames Valley and Wessex Leadership Academy Awards. The team was recognised for its excellent patient experience where the patient is truly at the heart of the service and for the way they continue to work with families to develop the service further.  They were praised for their collaborative leadership that united patients, parents and healthcare professionals.

Gully’s Place provides a purpose-designed space, including overnight accommodation, for younger patients and their families. The aim is to make being in hospital as relaxing and calm as possible at one of the most difficult times a family can face by providing a dedicated space, away from busy wards or the Emergency Department.

Karen Fernley, matron for child health (acute services) at Poole Hospital, and research nurse Sue Power represented the team from the children’s unit, who recognised the long-standing need for a unit like Gully’s Place. Opening in 2010, it is named after benefactor Diane Gulliford, who raised the initial funds to help make the concept a reality and who remains an active fundraiser.

Gully’s Place has moved from strength to strength since then, enjoying national recognition as a runner-up in the compassionate care category of the prestigious HSJ Awards held late last year.

“Nursing children in the approach to end-of-life in Gully’s Place means you can dedicate all your care and attention to the family at their pace, for as long as they need it,” said Karen.

“It takes the child and their family away from a clinical environment - whether that’s the children’s unit or the Emergency Department - and into one without the usual interruptions and demands you would get if you were nursing the child and family on a busy children’s ward,

“Since the development of Gully’s Place, our whole approach to how we care for children and families at this time has changed.

“We always have a dedicated private, calm, caring environment ready at all times.

“Whether a planned or unexpected death, we’re confident we can now provide an environment that is there whenever it is needed.

“As a professional, Gully’s Place has given me the confidence and reassurance that we are providing the best possible environment and choice for care in end-of-life situations.

“It’s so rewarding to know that our work is being recognised regionally and nationally through the NHS and the HSJ.”

The NHS Thames Valley Leadership Academy Awards seek to recognise individuals and teams helping to deliver outstanding patient care throughout the region.

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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