Background Estates and Facilities services play a key role in delivering a safe, secure and comfortable hospice environment for patients and visitors. There is growing evidence that working collaboratively can improve overall hospice care provision. In 2016, Hospice A agreed to share their Head of Estates and Facilities role for an interim period of six months at Hospice B. During this period both hospices used this collaborative opportunity to compare services, learn from each other and to improve estates and facilities services for patients and visitors.
Aim To explore, identify, and discuss aspects of Estates and Facilities at both hospices that could be identified as best practice. To implement good initiatives at both hospices so the physical environment can be made safer and more welcoming for patients and visitors. To work collaboratively and identify further projects for future collaboration.
Methods The information concerning best practice was identified through team meetings, interviews with staff, observational methods and review and comparison of operational procedures.
Results For Hospice A the following initiatives were adopted from current practices of Hospice B:
• Maintenance volunteers
• Weekly maintenance plan
• Monthly health and safety group
• Catering infection control improvements.
For Hospice B the following initiatives were adopted from Hospice A:
• Annual Health and Safety report to IOSH level 2
• Maintenance helpdesk
• Facilities administration volunteers
• Health and Safety awareness poster campaign.
The following areas were identified for future collaborative working:
• annual PLACE Audit
• Benchmarking health and safety performance
• Review of contractors and suppliers.
Conclusion Sharing knowledge and experience of estates and facilities teams at both hospices led to tangible, measurable benefits. The experience required both hospices to have a positive attitude towards change and be open to new ways of doing things. Both hospices have agreed to continue to work collaboratively and on current and future estates and facilities projects.
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