Article Text

Download PDFPDF

P-235 Evolution in the team, revolution in the service
  1. Jo Ansell
  1. Garden House Hospice Care, Letchworth, UK


Background We are a family support team of 4.68 WTE paid staff made up of counsellors, a social worker, spiritual care co-ordinator, administrator and 25 volunteers. A new manager was appointed in late 2017 and found a team struggling under a long waiting list. Feedback from other teams in the hospice was frustration that family support was slow and unresponsive.

Aims Following a team away day in January 2018 we decided to re-focus our work to be:

  • timely and appropriate;

  • rehabilitative and empowering;

  • efficiently supported and evaluated.

We had no specific numeric goals at this point, only to reduce our waiting list and become more responsive.

Method Taking a whole-system approach devised a plan which included major changes to:

  • Team ethos;

  • Assessment and referral processes;

  • Communication and roles;

  • Our counselling/service model;

  • Recruitment and training;

  • Evaluation and data collection.

Results After a year we achieved and have maintained:

  • The elimination of our waiting list; clients are now allocated within days of being assessed unless they have very limited available time slots;

  • Response to tasks and requests within two working days, usually within 24 hours;

  • Positive outcomes demonstrated in self–reported evaluation and improved Core 10 scores.


  • A whole team/whole system approach fostered a commitment to our aims and acceptance of the changes we needed to make, even when they were difficult;

  • A short–term counselling model is appropriate in a hospice setting if supported by theoretical and practical training in how to deliver counselling in this way;

  • The no–waiting approach means that the intervention is made when it is needed and can be most effective, and our outcome results show this;

  • Our willingness to be flexible in the way we work with individual cases where specific need is demonstrated provides the team with confidence that we remain client centred within a rehabilitative model.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.