End of Life Care
The care journey for our patients and residents commences on admission to St Mary’s. End of life care has been recognised as an important stage along that journey. Having collaborated with the Hospice friendly Hospices (HFH) network, St Mary’s have incorporated a pathway for resident/patient, family and staff as a guideline to provide optimal end of life care.
As part of this process “What matters to me” an education programme developed by HFH, St Mary’s own Palliative Care Module and a distance learning programme Essentials of Palliative Care are available to all nursing staff.
The wishes of the patient/resident and family are respected and in some cases a link is formed with a community hospice to allow for transfer home for their final journey. Bereavement support is provided for family following the death of their loved one through a designated bereavement support nurse. This service is also available to staff who have cared for the resident/patient. A remembrance mass is held each November for all those who have died in the preceding year as a continued support for the families and staff.
An end of Life Forum Committee comprising of all members of the MDT meets quarterly to audit the on-going care and support provided with a view to maintain and improve aspects of end of life care as necessary. Designated end of life care link nurses meet quarterly to ensure communication is provided from each unit to the forum. For the staff it is essential that the family are afforded with an experience that is a memorable and recognise this can be achieved through an on-going review of practice.