Dying patients and the
bereaved to benefit from Department of Health investment in hospital environments
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
News Release issued by The Government News Network on 15 May 2008
environment in which the NHS cares for thousands of dying patients
is to be transformed as a result of a new £1 million programme
funded by the Department of Health, led by the King's Fund.
Nurse-led teams in 19 NHS Trusts and one prison, will work to
improve facilities to care for patients at the end of life, the
bereaved and the front-line staff who care for them. The wide
range of projects will include new palliative care beds,
improvements to facilties for families and visitors, dedicated
bereavement suites and refurbished mortuary viewing facilties.
This anouncement comes ahead of the government's End of Life
Care strategy to be launched later this year which will give
people greater choice and improved care at the end of their life.
This is the latest phase of the King's Fund's
Enhancing the Healing Environment programme and follows a pilot
scheme in eight sites on end of life care that was completed
earlier this year.
Launching the new projects, Care Services Minister, Ivan Lewis said:
"I am pleased to announce the new recipients of this funding
for this very important programme. We know that most deaths (58%)
occur in NHS hospitals, which is why it is important that we make
these environments as pleasant as possible for patients and their families.
"How we care for the dying is an indicator of how we care
for all sick and vulnerable people. It is a measure of society as
a whole and in particular it is a litmus test for health and
social care services.
"The Government is committed to improving care and
people's choices at the end of life, regardless of their
condition or their location. We are taking this work forward
through the development of a national End of Life Care Strategy
for adults, which will be published in the summer.
"These projects will help to ensure that all people are
treated with dignity and respect at the end of their lives and
that pain and suffering amongst people approaching the end of life
is kept to an absolute minimum."
King's Fund Chief Executive Niall Dickson added:
"We are still not doing enough for patients at the end of
life. Dying patients and their families, like recovering
patients, deserve dignity and a caring environment, but too often
they are not experiencing this. This new programme is an
important step towards better care for a much neglected group.
"We know that improving the environment in which people are
cared for can make a huge difference to how they feel. We are
confident that this scheme will not only improve facilities at 20
new sites across the country, but will also have a positive impact
on the staff who take part and the patients who receive their care."
Each project has to physically improve an area used by patients
and relatives and must be run by a nurse-led, multi-disciplinary
team. An integral part of the project planning will be the
involvement of patients and relatives. Each team will have an
intitial budget of £40,000 to undertake their project and each
team member will receive a place on a King's Fund programme
to develop their leadership skills and give them the practical
knowledge they will need to make their project a success.
The nurse-led teams will be aided by a new report, published on
24 April by the King's Fund, which both celebrates the
success of the pilot programme and explores the impact that
improving environments can have on those who receive care or work
in end of life care. The publication includes a literature review,
the results of a concurrent action research programme, and the
outcome of a key stakeholder workshop.
Notes to editors
1. Improving environments for care at the end of life: lessons
from eight UK pilot sites is free to download.
2. The succesful applicants whose projects will be taken forward
are: East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust; Liverpool Women's NHS
Foundation Trust; Luton & Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundaton
Trust; Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust; Northumbria
Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust; Nottingham University Hospitals
NHS Trust; Shropshire County Primary Care Trust; South
Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust;
South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust; Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals
NHS Trust; Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust;
Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Lancashire Care NHS
Foundation NHS Trust; Newham University Hospital NHS Trust; North
Bristol NHS Trust; Portsmouth City PCT; Salisbury NHS Foundation
Trust; Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; York
Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; HMP Albany, Isle of Wight.
3. There were three times as many applicants to this scheme as
there were places. There is at least one project within each of
the 10 Strategic Health Authorities.
4. The Enhancing the Healing Environment scheme has had a
dramatic impact on patients and professionals since the
King's Fund launched the programme in 2001. So far more than
150 NHS organisations ranging from acute hospitals, mental health
trusts, learning disability services and primary care trusts have
transformed the environments in which they deliver care to
patients. Further information about the Enhancing the Healing
Environment can be found on the Kings's Fund's website,
including information on evaluations of the programme from 2003
5. An independent evaluation of the scheme conducted by
researchers at South Bank University in 2003 revealed significant
long-term benefits from the programme, including:
* the potential to reduce aggressive behaviour by patients and
relatives towards staff
* improvements in staff recruitment and retention rates
faster recuperation rates for patients
* reductions in vandalism.
6. The King's Fund is an independent charitable foundation
working for better health, especially in London. We carry out
research, policy analysis and development activities, working on
our own, in partnerships, and through funding. We are a major
resource to people working in health and social care, offering
leadership development programmes; seminars and workshops;
publications; information and library services; and conference and