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P-229 Dorothy house hospice care and royal united hospital – compassionate companions hospital end of life care
  1. Sadie Hall and
  2. Wendy Meilton
  1. Dorothy House Hospice Care, Bath, UK


The Compassionate Companions Service is a new service that provides specially-trained volunteers who offer support, compassionate listening, comfort and companionship to patients in their last days of life at the hospital, who do not want to die alone. They will also provide respite companionship support for patients’ families so that loved ones can recuperate during what is a psychologically and physically exhausting time.

The Dorothy House Hospice Care RUH Compassionate Companions service is a joint partnership between Dorothy House Hospice Care and the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH) Palliative Care and End of Life Team. This inspiring and progressive approach to caring for people was launched on 15 May 2019 with the support from the RUH Forever Friends Appeal and funding from the Sperring Trust for three years.

  • To support the provision of compassionate and dignified care at the end of life for those dying in hospital, whilst aiming to improve carer outcomes reported through the bereavement feedback questionnaire;

  • The service will supplement the quality nursing care that patients require in their final days or hours of life. Being able to spend time sitting with a dying patient, talking to them and their family and listening can be an enormous comfort at an emotionally challenging time for patient, family and ward staff;

  • To provide a 7 day service that meets the needs of patients, carers and their families throughout the hospital. Volunteers work up to three–hour shifts from 9 am – 9 pm;

  • Provide extra care and support for patients who are thought to be in the last 48 hours of life, are inpatients at RUH, and have limited or no family support or have family that would benefit from respite;

  • The service is starting with three wards and will expand to cover the whole hospital.

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