Dignity in Care Award 2009 - Regional Winner - South West
Updated on 21/10/2009
The 2009 Health and Social Care Award for Dignity in Care - South West region award went to:
Viewing Rooms Project, North Bristol NHS Trust
The Viewing Rooms Project aims to improve the experience of the hospital's recently bereaved service users, increasing their privacy, dignity and access by creating a warm, welcoming environment where the grieving process is less distressing.
Twenty recently bereaved families were given disposable cameras and asked to capture their experience at the hospital. The resulting images showed that thought needed to be given to the perspective of the bereaved.
A Viewing Room Steering Group was established which included patient panel members, carers, local funeral directors and next of kin who had used the viewing rooms. Over 200 people gave their ideas on redevelopment of the rooms.
The project's future was ensured by involving mortuary staff, board level sponsors and stakeholders from the outset. SANDS, a support group for parents, was also involved to ensure that the new design meets the needs of parents and siblings.
Outline proposals and designs were approved by the Trust Board in November 2008, with planning permission being granted in January 2009. The designs are currently out to tender and work should commence to refurbish both mortuary viewing rooms in March/April 2009.
The runners up were:
Tim Craft, Royal United Hospitals, NHS Trust Bath
Tim Craft's work has resulted in a shift in culture among hospital staff, ensuring that the needs of patients, their families and carers are always reflected.
Tim's ethos is to focus on how he and his colleagues treat people at a time of great vulnerability and to focus on the patient experience rather than professional indicators of success.
In presentations and written work patient stories are used to help staff understand the experience of being treated at their hospital. Told by the patients themselves, the stories drive improvement by explaining the gap between traditional measures of performance and the reality of patient experiences.
The leadership in practicing values has been a crucial factor in changing behaviour. Discussions about the importance of the patient experience and helping consultants understand that how they care for patients is as important as the ultimate clinical outcome.
Particular attention has been paid to personalising the care of Jehovah's Witnesses to ensure treatment provided was in accordance with their wishes. During daily meetings the care was discussed and reassurance given that therapies would not be forced upon them.
Information from patient experience surveys shows that the move to patient-centred care is working and recent feedback has described Tim as a "commanding, credible and convincing clinician and champion of patient safety."
He was also described by the Bristol Hospital Liaison for Jehovah's Witnesses as having made "a great difference to family members and friends in coping with such a tragic situation."
Cove Ward, Redruth Community Hospital
Camborne Redruth Community Hospital's Cove Ward has set up a programme to help people come to terms with the impact of dementia on those they care for. The ward team identified a need to improve support for carers and families visiting the ward.
The ward introduced a feedback questionnaire for carers and liaised with community teams to set up a carers support forum, whilst forging stronger links with existing carer support networks. Nursing staff now provide round the clock intensive care and support for both patients and families, with staffing resources increased to ensure people's needs are met.
The result is a ward that has a family feel, with staff who take the time to get to know carers as well as patients. A continuous process of listening to and acting on feedback from staff, carers and patient's suggestions means that changes are permanent.
A more flexible approach to visiting has also been introduced, so that carers are more involved. The increase in carer support and involvement has led to several carers venturing into fundraising to create a sensory garden for patients on Cove Ward.
A carer, whose husband was cared for on Cove Ward, said: "I always felt listened to by the staff and my ideas were encouraged, discussed and supported where possible. The staff at Cove Ward enabled us to experience his death in a very personal and private way, something we shall always be grateful for."