Background/context A fire in the Day Therapy Unit (DTU) resulted in this section of the hospice needing to be closed and refurbished. Contingency plans were actioned and DTU services relocated on site. The alternative choice had been to close the DTU for the foreseeable future.
This was an ideal opportunity to seek the views of patients on the benefits of attending the DTU and how they would have felt if the DTU had been closed.
Aim To understand the benefits of DTU care from the patients’ perspective and identify relevant outcome measures.
Approach used At the four meetings of the Patients’ Forum following the fire, every patient was asked what they would have missed most about attending the DTU and what impact this would have had on their wellbeing.
Patients were asked
What is the single thing that you feel is the greatest benefit to you? The group then agreed which categories would be discussed further.
To score each category, giving a score for how they felt before attending DTU and a score now they attend DTU. Scores were between 10 and 0 (10 = significant problem; 0 = no issues at all).
Outcomes 66 patients identified the following benefits of attending the DTU.
Reduction in feelings of:
fear and anxiety
unresolved symptom management
Typically, in all areas the scores decreased from a high of 10 to 2–3 on the day they attend DTU. Patients reported that the scores for depression, social isolation, fear and anxiety creep up after the DTU attendance and start to drop the day before they attend.
“I would kill myself if I couldn’t come here.”
“This is the only place that I can be me.”
Application to hospice practice DTU Managers may wish to use this information to develop outcome measures specific to their service.
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