Staff from wards at two community hospitals in Dorset have received a major confidence boost, after becoming the latest to receive the Gold Standards Framework Quality Hallmark Award, in recognition of their end of life care.
The success of the wards at Alderney Hospital in Poole and Westminster Memorial Hospital, Shaftesbury, means eight of Dorset's 11 community hospitals have now received the accolade.
Representatives of Guernsey and Jersey wards from Alderney Hospital and Ashmore and Shaston (accredited as one) at Westminster Memorial, received their awards from Jacqueline McKenna, Director of Nursing, NHS Improvement, at the National GSF annual conference in London on 29 September.
These wards are following in the footsteps of the hospitals at Swanage, Wareham, Portland, Blandford and Sherborne whose end of life care was accredited by GSF in 2016.
Senior nursing staff at the two hospitals credited the GSF programme with a major uplift in confidence among staff in dealing with patients who are approaching the end of life and said receiving the award provide them with a further boost.
Anne Hiscock, Matron at Westminster Memorial Hospital, said: "The Gold Standards Framework (GSF) award has really given the staff at WMH a tremendous boost in morale as they feel that they have been recognised for the care they deliver made even better with the GSF principles embedded in to practice."
Precious Whild, Senior Sister at Guernsey Ward at Alderney Hospital, said: "The Gold Standards Framework has given staff the confidence to broach the subject of end of life care with patients giving them (the patients) the freedom and confidence to fulfil their wishes when it comes to their care as they approach their final months."
Having completed the GSF Community Hospitals Training Programme, all of the wards were assessed by a panel of independent experts. The wards also demonstrated that they were well placed to meet their patients' needs at this most vulnerable time, helping them communicate their wishes and coordinate their care. The hospitals have demonstrated the ability to better plan patients' care with GPs and District Nurses, and fulfil their wishes in terms of how and where they are cared for.
Dr Jacqueline McKenna, Director of Nursing of Professional Leadership at NHS Improvement said: "Celebrating success in the NHS is a valuable part of learning and sharing best practice. I am delighted at the hard work and dedication of staff at Dorset community hospitals and hope this achievement encourages their staff to continue to make positive changes for patients in years to come.
"Getting end of life care right for people and ensuring they feel safe and supported is what many of us in the NHS strive to do. The Gold Standards Framework Awards is just one way where we can showcase excellent examples to help staff across the NHS understand where they can make real and lasting changes."
GSF National Clinical Director Professor Keri Thomas said: "It's fantastic to celebrate the achievements of more community hospitals from Dorset, an area with a higher than average elderly population and where GSF is well embedded across many settings, supporting good cross boundary care.
"Dorset is one of our most well established GSF cross-boundary care sites. More GSF accredited community hospitals means even wider provision of high quality end of life care. These community hospitals are making a huge difference to the lives of their patients and families, not only in identifying them early and giving them the chance to share their wishes through advance care planning discussions, but also in ensuring more people live and die according their wishes."
The GSF Centre is the UK's largest provider of training for health and social care staff, enabling them to help people live well as they approach the end of their lives. The Community Hospital training programme has been developed to enhance care within the community in planning and implementing care for those patients thought to be in the last stage of life. The GSF Centre is also used widely in GP surgeries, care homes and acute hospitals.
For more information about the GSF Community Hospitals programme contact firstname.lastname@example.org