Improving end of life experience

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.

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, or 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….

Carers Passport
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.

Open visiting
We operate open visiting to enable people to visit at any time, to support the principles of humane, respectful and compassionate care associated with John’s Campaign. Please go to our Visiting someone in hospital page, which includes a copy of our Visitor’s Charter for more detail.

Concessionary parking
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.
 

Refreshments
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:

Pinderfields Hospital

  • In Café - drinks and snacks

  • Time To Eat restaurant - hot and cold food

  • WHSmith.

Dewsbury and District Hospital

  • White Rose restaurant - hot and cold food

  • Timeout shop - drinks and snacks

Pontefract Hospital

  • Time To Eat café - hot and cold food

  • WHSmith.
     

Available support

Relatives overnight stay rooms
If you find yourself in a position where you need to stay unexpectedly, we have 5 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.
relatives room

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.

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.

MY Spaces
In collaboration with carers and staff from Carers Wakefield & District, alongside Wakefield Council, we are developing 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.

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.
    

Palliative Care
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.

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.

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.

Community care

  • 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 are establishing 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

  • You can contact our Adult Community Nursing Service and the Integrated Care Team via  the Single Point of Contact, for patients receiving nursing and/or therapy support at home:

    • Wakefield: 01924 327591

    • Kirklees: 0300 3045555

  • Community Therapy Services can be contacted via:

    • MY Therapy (Wakefield): 01977 747471

    • Locala (Kirklees): 0300 3045555
      community

  • Our Rosewood Palliative Day Support and Therapy team at Dewsbury Hospital provide 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.

Spiritual & 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. More information can be found here.

Oak Leaf Suite
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 have redesigned and refurbished our Emergency Department bereavement area at Pinderfields Hospital, called the 'Green Suite' to offer a calm, supportive space for bereaved families, friends and carers.

Bereavement Services
Our Bereavement Team are here to help guide you through the necessary arrangements after someone has sadly died. To find out more about out the service they provide, click here.

Future improvements….

The Patient Experience Team, alongside other colleagues and teams in the Trust regularly review and share feedback we receive. We are establishing a Bereavement Survey to enable 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 will be 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.