Senior ward nurses from all over University Hospital and the Hospital of St Cross recently spent a week at The Myton Hospices learning more about the way Myton’s staff provide palliative and end of life care.
At the end of their week’s training UHCW staff returned to their own ward areas to work with their nursing, medical and allied health professional colleagues, empowered to improve the care provided for terminally ill patients in their hospital.
This training has been running at Myton for UHCW staff for the last four years, led by members of staff from Myton and the UHCW Palliative Care Team. There are now 35 trained Quality End of Life Care for All (QELCA©) champions working with their colleagues on 21 wards at UHCW to improve palliative care for their patients.
The course was developed by St Christopher’s Hospice in London and training includes palliative care, advance care planning (planning ahead for the future) managing hospital in patients who are extremely unwell with uncertainty recovery care (using a tool known as the AMBER Care Bundle) in the last weeks and days of life, and communication skills for staff.
Staff are encouraged to be open and honest with their terminally ill patients, helping them to explore their patients’ concerns and identifying what is important to them and their families through sensitive and caring discussions. These conversations are important as they allow staff to work with patients and their families to plan ahead together, maintaining their patients’ dignity and empowering them to take control towards the end of their lives.
With the patient’s consent, their key preferences for the future can then be shared with other key professionals involved so that everyone can do their best to follow their patient’s own unique, individualised preferences for care towards the end of their lives.
The UHCW nurses have evaluated their week at Myton very well – one even said it was
the best course I have been on in my entire nursing career
while another commented
I thoroughly enjoyed the study sessions and believe it will beneficial to my department and practice in the future.”