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King's Fund pilot schemes to promote compassion in London hospitals

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Three acute trusts in London are to begin piloting to schemes designed to transform hospital culture and support staff to provide compassionate care.

The Point of Care programme, launched last week by the King’s Fund, involves two practical initiatives to ‘promote compassion in care and improve patients’ experience’.

From early next year, the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust will pilot the US Schwartz Center Rounds system, which involves a monthly one-hour session for staff from all disciplines to come together and discuss difficult emotional and social issues arising from patient care.

In addition, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will pilot Experience Based Design, which involves patients and staff working together to improve services.

Dr Jocelyn Cornwell, director of the Point of Care programme, said: ‘Today’s hospitals are vast, time is at a premium and in these busy “medical factories” care of the person can unfortunately get squeezed out. The programme aims to help staff and hospital boards improve patients’ experience of care and support staff to see the person in the patient.’

RCN general secretary Peter Carter said: ‘We welcome the launch of the Point of Care pilot programmes as they seek to make patient dignity a high priority for everyone involved in the delivery of healthcare.’

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