Background We found that members of the non-clinical hospice team did not routinely access Journal Club meetings.
Aim To ensure our Journal Club is relevant and inclusive to all staff working at our hospice.
Activities We chose to discuss at our weekly Journal Club the article, ‘Tidying rooms/tending hearts’, which explored the important role of the housekeeping staff. Five members of the housekeeping team attended, along with healthcare professionals from a range of hospice services. Our Journal Club is held in a hybrid format. The meeting was recorded with consent and subsequently other members of staff have listened to the recording.
Outcomes Attendees were engaged with the topic and the housekeeping team reported that:
They took an overwhelming sense of pride in their role and of the high standards they strive for, which are evident in their excellent infection control audit results.
Being with patients is an important and fulfilling part of their role.
Conversations with patients often revolved around casual topics, but patients also discussed their illness and, occasionally, thoughts regarding death with them.
The housekeeping team sometimes felt uncomfortable and helpless and did not feel they knew what to say or do when patients talked about death.
Often, they would not know what to expect when they entered a patient’s room.
Implications for practice After the Journal Club meeting we met with the Senior leadership Team to discuss the outcomes and learning opportunities. This resulted in changes to practice aimed at providing palliative and end of life care training and improving pastoral support for the housekeeping team.
Conclusion Widening participation in the Journal Club had several unexpected benefits: for the participants, who felt more included in the hospice team; and, for patient care, as hospice clinicians were able to further recognise the important daily contact and support the housekeeping team provide to patients.
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