Bassetlaw PCT Provider Arm and Public Modernisation Board

The Bassetlaw PCT Provider Arm is a programme designed to implement ways in which carers can offer a dignified and compassionate service for patients who only have a short time to live due to terminal illness.

The project was developed in 2007 following the Essence of Care Privacy and Dignity benchmarking process which identified areas for improvement in patients' comfort and dignity to minimise pain and trauma.

In addition to this there had been rising concern amongst professionals from all Provider Arm Service areas that staff were being rushed and could not carry out the appropriate care required, or fulfil the national 'Releasing Time to Care' agenda.

As a result, Bassetlaw PCT has introduced a number of new ways of working. The Dignity Challenge has been worked into the agenda of all Heads of Department who act as Dignity Champions and attend regular meetings to empower staff to show compassion and respect when working with patients.

Identified through this process, was the need to address the emotional support that carers require when caring for patients who are terminally ill. In 2007 a separate support and educational session for carers was established which has led to the development of the Bassetlaw Carers Support Programme.

The programme has resulted in staff feeling more supported in their roles. Positive feedback has been received from patients through thank you letters and surveys have demonstrated the benefits of this approach to care.