Background Palliative care teams have historically worked in isolation from other services. St Giles has revolutionised their workforce by incorporating staff nurse rotation between community and palliative care services.
Aim To provide seamless patient care, St Giles Hospice has incorporated rotation of staff nurses between community and inpatient palliative care services. The aim of this is to streamline patient journeys between services, increase staff knowledge between departments, maintain clinical skills and offer career development for staff.
Methods Staff nurses between departments were identified to be part of the pilot rotation, timeframes were set for rotation with evaluations at the beginning and end to evaluate the pilot and the benefits it had had. Patient feedback was also evaluated for any reference to the rotational role.
Results The initial rotation timeframe was too short, feedback from the nurses was that six months in each department would be more efficient and enable embedding into practice. Clinical skills in the community have been maintained with nurses able to perform more clinical tasks (bloods, medications etc) with increased confidence and competence. In addition the handover of care to inpatient settings has been improved with patients having a familiar face when they enter an unfamiliar setting. Due to the success this has now been rolled out to all staff nurses in the community with recruitment underway for their rotational counterparts.
Conclusion To date the rotation has been a success. We now have a rotation of CNS and Sister between departments and also rotation between staff nurses as well. As patients do not see barriers between services neither should staff. A greater understanding of each department enables better outcomes for patients and also staff with greater appreciation of roles.
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