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New role to support ward staff on dying patients’ wishes

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A new senior nurse role has been created at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust to focus on training nursing staff about end of life care.

Julie Challenger, a nurse for more than 30 years, has become clinical practice educator for 12 months to roll-out a comprehensive training package focusing on the trust’s end of life care plan.

The plan has been developed by the trust using the national One Chance to Get it Right guidance, which replaced the Liverpool Care Pathway.

The trust is currently piloting the plan on ward 22 at Scunthorpe hospital and the stroke unit at Grimsby hospital.

“It is about quality and consistent care for people in the last few days and hours of life”

Julie Challenger

It will then be auditing the pilot and reviewing staff evaluation forms before rolling it out on all wards in the trust over the next 12 months.

Ms Challenger said the aim was to ensure patients had a dignified death by identifying their needs and wishes and involving them in decisions about treatment and care.

“An individual plan of care, which includes symptom control, hydration, psychological, social and spiritual support, is agreed, co-ordinated and delivered with compassion,” she said.

“It identifies symptoms that a patient coming to the end of their life may experience and will have anticipatory medications prescribed enabling staff to manage those symptoms,” said Ms Challenger who has previously worked in hospices and as a community-based Macmillan nurse.

She added: “Education is key. I am really looking forward to working with staff on our wards to embed the plan which focuses on giving compassionate care and is a move away from previous processes and protocols.”

 

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • Staff also need support in including the person making decisions on behalf of the patient. i.e. those with power of attorney. This inclusion should include all stages of the care where-by the LPA is then able to make informed decisions more accurately in line with those of the patient. Problems also occur when the patient's wishes are not in line with current thinking or protacol.

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  • michael stone

    I tend to agree with the previous poster (1:01 am) but I question the wording 'in including the person making decisions on behalf of the patient' re Welfare Attorneys: if the attorney is there to make best interests decisions [ie has (legal) powers over the decision being made], the inclusion is the other way around (the attorney asks the staff for input before the attorney expresses a decision to whomever needs to be told of it).

    As for the article, this bit is 'spot-on':

    She added: “Education is key. I am really looking forward to working with staff on our wards to embed the plan which focuses on giving compassionate care and is a move away from previous processes and protocols.”

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