Introduction A review identified the need to:
▶ Create a strategy for delivering psychosocial care
▶ Develop psychosocial skills
▶ Provide counselling.
Aim Undertake a pilot to
▶ Allow time and give value to the psychological well-being of patients/families
▶ Enable staff to recognise emotional distress and empower them to act upon it
▶ Enable difficult conversations to be handled confidently and sensitively.
▶ Recruited six, part time counsellors
▶ Reflective sessions to share experiences
▶ Introduction of 10 Psychosocial Care Champions
▶ Questionnaire to establish a baseline
▶ Training in providing psychosocial care
▶ Clinical supervision – supervisor and supervisee training, developing documentation
▶ Innovative training of volunteers and non-clinical staff in psychosocial skills.
▶ Psychosocial Champions – encourage informal, regular conversations about psychosocial needs
▶ Counsellors provided a safe space to express and explore patients' sense of loss
▶ “Hospice brand” brought familiarity enabling counsellors to develop therapeutic relationships in short timeframe
▶ Questionnaire (42% response) revealed:
▶ Time and capacity – an ongoing challenge
▶ Respondents were able to:
▶ Identify psychological/social needs and own limitations
▶ Develop trusting, non-judgemental relationships with patients/carers.
▶ Insufficient capacity to improve psychosocial data – next phase
▶ Questionnaire will be repeated to assess the progress made.
Conclusion This pilot phase has identified the need to have a full time resource driving psychosocial care who will:
▶ Ensure specialist and general psychosocial support for patients/families is available at all times
▶ Continue to develop the MDT
▶ Create a culture where people feel confident to try new skills
▶ Ongoing training and development
▶ Develop a tool kit based on the findings from the questionnaire
▶ Maintain the integration of bereavement services
▶ Increase external liaison with other services
▶ Explore the possibility of income generation.
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