Aim To give relatives the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience of their relatives care received in the last days/hours of their lives in an acute hospital.
Background Results from the National Views of Informal Carers Evaluation of Services (VOICES) survey (DH, 2012) was informative at PCT level but did not provide feedback on individual organisation. Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust (LTHT) adapted a bereaved family survey (Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust, 2012) for feedback on the quality of end of life care and communication.
Method 627 surveys given out over 10 weeks (March to May 2013) to the bereaved relative/carer via the bereavement liaison office.
Results Response rate 23% (146/627). Majority of responses from bereaved daughters (40%) of older adults. Results indicated that ward staff are delivering excellent or good care for the followings aspects; communication (Excellent 45%, Good 28%); respect and dignity (Excellent 55%, Good 26%) and emotional support (Excellent 46%, Good 30%). An adapted version of Burnard (1991) content analysis was used to establish themes from the comments. Emerging themes highlighted issues with hospital/ward facilities for relatives and lack of understanding regarding caring for patients with dementia. Overall the comments were mainly positive (70% positive versus 30% negative) regarding care their relatives received.
Conclusion This Bereaved Family Survey has provided valuable insight into where the care we provide is of high quality, and where we need to improve. Work is required to: understand how we can involve patients more in decision-making; improve facilities for families, and establish links with other work in development, such as improving care for patients with dementia. Timing of the survey needs to be reconsidered to gain a more representative population of bereaved relatives.
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