End of life care
The Trust’s core values of kindness and compassion are echoed in our ambition to provide high quality care in the last days of a persons’ life.
The Patient Experience Team, alongside other colleagues and teams in the Trust, regularly review and share the feedback we receive. We run a continuous Bereavement Survey which enables bereaved families, carers or the registered next of kin to share their experience of the care and support provided by the Trust to them and their relative or friend who passed away. The survey is sent out three months after the individual died, with opt-out mechanisms for those who do not wish to receive or complete the survey.
As ever, if you would like to leave feedback, visit the Tell us what you think page. Any feedback received will enable us to make further improvements to deliver our ambition to provide high-quality care in the last days of a person’ life, based on what matters most.
End of life care
We know that it is sometimes the small things that can make a difference to patients, family, friends and carers at such a difficult time. This page aims to help explain some of the support available, where to find it and also details some of the improvements we have made that we hope help improve the experience of care.
The ‘small’ things that make a difference
We have a Carers Passport available which supports the rights of carers to remain with loved ones who would benefit from their support in hospital and information about some of the services available to carers. Please ask a member of staff about these.
Visit our Carers page for more useful information if you provide care or support to someone
Although visiting restrictions are currently in place we support the principles of humane, respectful and compassionate care associated with John’s Campaign. Please go to our Visiting someone in hospital page for more details.
We offer reduced car parking rates at all of our hospitals for people who are visiting patients receiving end of life care. Daily and weekly concessions are immediately available upon completion of an Approval Form as soon as patients are admitted.
Speak to the Nurse in Charge, Ward Manager or Matron, or call into General Office for more information. For more car parking information including our current rates, please click here.
We provide a range of services within our hospitals to ensure you can find something to eat and drink whilst visiting someone in our hospitals. Please note that some of these facilities may vary depending on restrictions related to managing coronavirus.
Please note that payments at Pinderfields and Pontefract are currently card payments only.
- Coffee Club, Level B. Hot and cold drinks and snacks, open Monday to Friday 7am to 9pm
- Time To Eat Restaurant (currently open to staff only for dine-in, take away available to all) Level B, Hot and cold food available, 7 days a week at the following times Monday to Friday, weekends and Bank Holidays 7am to 5pm.
- WHSmith – Level B. Open between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am and 5pm on weekends and bank holidays.
- Vending machines serving hot and cold drinks and snacks are available throughout our hospital
Dewsbury and District Hospital
- White Rose restaurant – Level 2, Ridings building. Hot and cold food and drinks available 7 days a week at the following times: Breakfast 8am till 11:30am | Lunch 12pm till 2pm| Afternoon 2.30pm- 4.45pm
- MYVolunteer Cafe – hot and cold drinks and snacks available, next to Ridings building main entrance. Open: Monday to Friday 8am till 4pm
- Vending machines serving hot and cold drinks and snacks are available in the White Rose Restaurant, with microwaveable food items and microwaves
- Time To Eat Restaurant, adjacent to Main Entrance - hot and cold food available Monday to Fridays between 8am and 5pm (excluding Bank Holidays)
- WHSmith turn left at main entrance - Open Monday to Friday between 8am and 4pm (excluding Bank Holidays)
- Vending machines serving hot and cold drinks and snacks are available throughout our hospital
Relatives overnight stay rooms
If you find yourself in a position where you need to stay unexpectedly, we have a small number of overnight stay rooms available at Pinderfields Hospital that provide privacy, dignity and a place to get some well needed rest. The rooms, designed for relatives, friends and carers of patients who are in the palliative or critical care stages of their treatment, include drinks making facilities, reclining chairs with bedding and a bathroom.
Speak to a member of ward staff to access one of these rooms. The rooms are available for one nights’ stay and are to be vacated by 11am the following day to allow for cleaning.
MY Space rooms
In collaboration with carers and staff from Carers Wakefield & District, alongside Wakefield Council, we have developed spaces for patients, family, friends and carers to spend time away from the bedside, to speak with professionals or as a place of privacy and comfort at what can be a distressing time.
End of Life care resource drawers
Supported by our excellent volunteers, we have introduced End of Life care resource drawers to our adult inpatient wards. These include relevant information about what to expect during the last days of a patient’s life and the care and support that is available. Also available are handmade and donated items designed to provide a more personal, dignified and compassionate experience, alongside comfort packs containing items such as soap, toothbrush, toothpaste for visitors who may need/wish to remain at our hospitals for prolonged periods. The gold leaf symbol (below) is used on patient’s room doors to indicate to staff that extra consideration be given before entering the room, to show respect and provide dignity to patients and families
Family Support rooms
We have a number of ‘family support rooms’ situated on our elderly care wards. Designed with a fitted wardrobe complete with a fold-away bed to enable family and carers to stay in the same room overnight and be physically close to their loved ones who are living with dementia or in their final days. We made a short video to celebrate the launch of these which can be accessed here.
Gold Standards Framework
Our staff have received education and training as part of the national Gold Standards Framework which aims to ensure every element of care for patients approaching the end of their life is optimised.
Gold Standard care is about giving the right person, the right care, in the right place, at the right time, every time.
The Mid Yorkshire Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Team works to provide an integrated service for patients and their families who require specialist palliative care in all of our hospitals and in the community of Wakefield and Pontefract District. The team help patients manage pain and other physical symptoms as well as provide psychological, social and spiritual support. Click here to read more.
Spiritual and Holistic Care
The Trust’s Chaplaincy team work alongside patients, their families and carers and staff to provide spiritual and religious care during times of need and uncertainty.
Our Palliative Day Support and Therapy team at Dewsbury Hospital provides expert holistic and specialist positive support to the highest standard, for adults living in our community with a progressive life limiting illness. The team is committed to having conversations with the people who access their services to ensure that at end of life, their care is focused on ‘What matters to you’. The service provides a number of treatments and support depending on an individual’s needs.
Oak Leaf Suite - mortuary viewing area
We have transformed our mortuary viewing area, the 'Oak Leaf Suite' with bespoke artwork, a new colour scheme, improved interior design and furniture in collaboration with bereaved families, local schools and artists. The aim is to provide a calm, supportive environment that helps mitigate the distress and anguish of those visiting. The renovations were made possible due to generous donations received from the Wakefield Masonic Society. To arrange a viewing, please contact the Mortuary department via switchboard, 01924 541000.
Emergency Department bereavement area
We recognise that relatives and carers may suddenly find themselves in a distressing and emotional situation and that the environment can have a significant impact on their experience.
Our Pinderfields Emergency Department’s relatives and carers – Green suite’ rooms have been transformed thanks to proceeds and funds from MY Voluntary Services Café at Dewsbury, the Palliative Care Support Team’s charitable funds, and Engie and Consort Healthcare.
The aim of the project was to create a calm and beautiful space, to help mitigate distress and anguish following the death of a loved one.
The refurbishment included redecoration, new furniture and the addition of bespoke artwork designed and installed by Stella Corrall (Creative Director from Lucentia Design).
The designs were produced following consultation with Emergency Department staff and our patient experience groups and co-ordinate with previous work undertaken to transform the Trust’s ‘Oak Leaf Suite’ Mortuary viewing rooms at Pinderfields.
The result of the transformation has brought a sense of calm and serenity to the suite to reflect the care and compassion people feel for their loved ones.
End of life fast-track discharge
We now have an established service that ensures effective and timely discharge from hospital for patients who are at end of their life, designed so we can best meet people’s wishes about where they would like to die. Through working with hospital teams and external organisations the service has massively reduced the length of time it takes to put in place necessary arrangements (care, nursing home beds, funding) from a number of weeks to a number of hours.
The service received runner up in the 2018 Patient Experience Network National Awards and we commend our colleague who drove the project’s success won the 2019 Macmillan Professionals Excellence Awards in the Quality Improvement Excellence category.
Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust have improved on the support offered to bereaved families, through an early release and the introduction of out of hours early release of the deceased.
What is an early release?
Early release is required urgently by some relatives of deceased patients. This may be for religious, cultural or other reasons. The most common reason for the request for out of hours release of a deceased patient is to meet the religious need for a burial or cremation as soon as possible (within 24 hours).
The bereavement and chaplaincy team action requests so the deceased can be buried in the time frame needed for certain religions.
Out of hours early release
After identifying delays as a further stress to grieving relatives, the Chaplaincy team introduced the idea to create the out of hours support. Honouring relatives request for loved ones to have an early release, the Trust Chaplaincy team now offer additional assistance, outside of the normal bereavement service hours of 9am - 5pm.
Families and carers of the deceased can now take comfort in the support offered by the team who have with a deep religious and a cultural understanding of the asks brought to them by faith communities.
How do you request an early release?
Early release requests can be asked by the friends, family, and relatives, to the healthcare colleagues on the ward staff. During working hours, healthcare colleague will contact the Bereavement Team to process the request.
Out of hours, 5pm until 8am on weekdays and weekends, healthcare colleagues will contact the on-call Chaplain.
Requests are complete by the Bereavement and Chaplaincy team as part of the early release policy in consultation with the medical practitioners, nursing staff and mortuary technicians, allowing an effective process to be completed.
We are looking at ways of improving the experience of palliative and end of life care for patients and their loved ones in our community settings. We have a 'Priority Gold line', a single telephone number for people who are in the palliative stage of their life (or their families/carers) to ring for practical or emotional support.
This is a 24 hour a day, 365 day a year service where calls are transferred to a professional who can discuss and arrange the best support for your current needs.
We work closely with local hospices to improve standards of quality and coordination for our patients who require hospice care.
Our Community Nursing Teams provides 24-hour community nursing to patients living in the Wakefield area. Part of their work involves reducing unnecessary hospital, residential and nursing home admissions, supporting early hospital discharge and keeping people in their own homes as long as possible
Wakefield: 01924 327591 / Kirklees: 0300 3045555
See MY Therapy Community Team or Locala (Kirklees): 0300 3045555