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London hospital praises wards for dignity and compassion

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Five wards at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust were awarded ‘beacon status’ this week for delivering compassion and dignity in care.

The wards had all demonstrated ways in which they were improving dignity and compassion, including organising weddings for patients nearing the end of life and introducing a photo-book to help children understand what would happen to them in clinic.

The trust’s chief nurse Eileen Sills said: ‘The assessment panel were struck by how significantly staff had improved dignity in their areas. Each took a different approach, but there were core themes, most notably that they all recognised how respect for each other had an impact on patients, and how patient involvement was key.’

Penny Minchin (pictured), staff nurse for head and neck cancer, and dignity champion for Blundell Ward, which achieved beacon status, said: ‘The focus on our ward was on team effort and understanding the needs of our specific patient group. We wanted to promote independence and give them time for communication.’

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