Historically Rotherham Hospice provided support for counselling and psychology through the provision of clinical psychologist providing one-to-one support to all counselling and psychology patients at all levels. Bereavement services were delivered only through a volunteer befriending service which did not historically have a robust or consistent method of providing supervision and support to volunteers. This service redesign saw the formal introduction of a tiered Psychology and Counselling Service, providing appropriate support to patients and their families across levels 1–4. These four levels provide tiered support ensuring patients are seen at the right time by the most appropriate person. It also saw the introduction of a formal training, supervision and reflection process for all bereavement befriending volunteers. Finally in 2015, the hospice introduced ‘Schwartz Rounds’ to allow an increased focus on staff emotional well-being as well as patients, families and carers. Schwartz Rounds are monthly meetings for staff and volunteers to come together in a safe environment to think and talk about how it feels to do the work we do. They are not education sessions and they are not used for problem solving, but purely for reflection on emotions and resilience. Each month we will focus on a different case or theme.
Outcomes These changes provided a skilled and dedicated workforce with increased ability to engage in complex communication with patients and families. They also allowed for robust governance in this area, providing supervision and reflection in line with best practice. Likert scaling tools are used in some areas to allow outcomes to be measured. It is often the case that children withdraw or experience behavioural issues when they are dealing with difficult emotions. We have found that teachers report improvements in children’s general wellbeing, interaction with others, and performance when they have been attending Sunbeams. Children and young people also say that attending Sunbeams has a positive effect. Staff and volunteers report positive feedback form Schwartz Rounds attendances and measures in relation to sickness and absence will also be monitored in the future.
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