Positive changes we’ve made to transform the end of life care for patients and their families have been highlighted in a new short film by NHS England.
It’s never an easy time for anyone involved when a patient is nearing the end of their life. On the back of mixed feedback about the experiences of patients and their families, so we decided to take action.
The Daisy scheme was launched, bringing together all our teams involved in end of life care, from palliative care to the bereavement team. An image of the flower became the scheme logo and is used as a symbol that a patient is nearing the end of their life. This is placed near the patient’s bed, on bags for their relatives to take their belongings home, and on mortuary trolleys, as an indication to staff across the hospitals, so they know some extra care and attention would be hugely welcomed.
It has proved such a success, with positive feedback from our patients and their families, that it attracted the attention of NHS England, which worked with us to create a short film showcasing the scheme and its impact, as an example for other trusts across the country.
Wendy Matthews, our Deputy Chief Nurse – Patient Experience, said: “Launching our Daisy scheme has made a huge difference not only for our patients nearing the end of their lives, but their loved ones too.
“Losing someone close is devastating, so we want to make the process at our hospitals as simple and straightforward as possible, offering as much support as we can to the family.
“Our teams are working more closely together to provide a warm and friendly environment to ease these families and friends through such a difficult time. We’re really pleased to see such tremendous improvement in feedback from those who have lost someone since we introduced this scheme. It shows how small things can make a huge difference.”
A big part of improving end of life care was to move the bereavement office to a new, more accessible location. Now known as the Daisy Centre, it was refurbished to be much more comfortable and welcoming for families.
We also improved how it supports the families of end of life care patients – providing chair beds so they can stay overnight, allowing extended visiting, and even providing drinks and hot meals to families spending lots of time with their loved one. More support is also available to recently bereaved families.
Clare Enston, Head of Insight and Feedback for NHS England, said: “Really listening to patients and their families and understanding their experiences can often shine a light on areas that can be improved. It isn’t always about big investments of money, but in just taking a fresh look at how things work from the perspective of people using the service.
“What shines through here is the compassion, dignity and humanity that has been built into these redesigned processes. It demonstrates how staff at every level can contribute to improving patient experience and really make a difference. All the small things add up to something that can transform a situation.”