An exchange program has existed between qualified nurses at St Ann’s Hospice and Renal Departments in partnership trusts for over 10 years, the outcomes of which have always been positive and have allowed all staff to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence. With this in mind it was decided to expand the program to include the Cardiology, Haematology and Respiratory departments. The diversity of the acute settings addresses the changing nature of hospice care where patients are admitted with complex clinical reasons, and presents hospices with significant challenges for education and training.
The provision for palliative care is inconsistent across the country, this is particularly true of out of hours. Although it is unfair to directly compare hospices and hospitals, the advantages of sharing specific knowledge and skills across the 2 is clear.
A one week nurse exchange; centred on observations, is agreed between St Ann’s Hospice and the Renal, Cardiology, Haematology and Respiratory departments of Central Manchester Foundation Trust. Discussions are underway to include Gastro-enterologly. The program adopts a hands on approach where knowledge and skills are shared through shadowing and observations.
Evaluation Following on from the renal exchange program last year, a new evaluation form has been produced that captures the data in a more quantitative manner, thus allowing outcomes to be more auditable.
Overall Objectives 1. Equip St Ann’s staff with the skills and knowledge to deal with more clinically complex patients
2. Raise awareness of individualised end of life care in a hospice setting
The Future This is an ongoing project, aiming to cascade across all hospital specialties, with a view to develop EoLC ‘Champions’ in each specialty. Our goal would be to see this partnership program replicated in other organisations.
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