Background The National Survey of Bereaved People reported that patients’ relatives rated hospital doctors and nurses less well than those working in other settings at ensuring that their loved ones were treated with dignity and respect (Office for National Statistics, 2016). The Nursing and Midwifery Council updated the Code of Conduct for nurses and midwives highlighting the importance of delivering fundamental care to dying people so that they can expect to receive the high standard of care afforded to any other person needing nursing care. The ‘Rotational Post’ project offered developing Band 5 nurses (within three years of qualifying) the opportunity to work in three care settings (1. Hospice in-patient; 2. Cancer care; 3. Care of the Elderly) over the course of a year (in four month blocks) with support from palliative care professionals, managers and the project lead.
Aims To develop skills and confidence in meeting the needs of people approaching end of life in any care setting. Developing a culture where death is not seen as a failure but whereby an expected death is seen as a successful outcome. Promote greater working partnerships between care providers.
Methods A qualitative study adapting a research case study approach to evaluate the project. Qualitative focus groups (with participating nursing staff) and semi-structured interviews (with stakeholders) were conducted and analysed to assess the perceived impact the project had on stakeholders’ and participating nurses’ perceptions and experiences, and whether the project had, according to participants’ accounts, attained its original aims.
Conclusion Overall the course had a positive impact on the nurses and key stakeholders alike. A number of challenges were experienced throughout the programme including recruitment processes, communication and placements. The evaluation created an opportunity to explore these challenges and how they might be improved in future collaborations of this type.
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