Dr Kershaw’s Hospice named as finalist in national 2021 Nursing Times Awards

DR Kershaw’s Hospice has been shortlisted as a finalist in The Nursing Times Awards 2021 in recognition of the support its Home Team provides to the main carers and loved ones of patients across the community.

The prestigious Nursing Times Awards shine a light on the brightest talent in the profession and recognise innovation, patient-focused care, inclusivity and perseverance across 25 categories.

Staff members from Dr Kershaw’s Hospice at Home Team: Brenda Harston, Joanne Wright, Lindsey Harper, Tracy Harrison and Janine Cockcroft

Dr Kershaw’s, based on Turf Lane in Royton, has been shortlisted in the Nursing Community category and the Home Team will attend a judging day in September to present their entry to the judges in more detail.

The team visits patients in their own homes from 7am-9pm, providing­­ patients and their families with the appropriate level of additional care to ensure the patient has the support they need to remain in their own home and to prevent unnecessary admissions to hospital.

The winners will be announced at the official Nursing Times Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, October 27 at Grosvenor House in London.

Lindsey Harper, Lead Nurse for Community Services at the Hospice, explained: “Our focus has always been on the wishes and subsequent individualised care for the patient.

“However, we wanted to put something in place that would identify any issues or concerns that the patient’s main carer was experiencing and a toolkit/advice or support from other services to help.

“Providing additional support to the main carers of people approaching the end of their life has increased the number of families able to fully support their loved ones’ wishes of dying at home.

“Prior to this intervention, it was common for main carers to become overwhelmed and request the transfer of their loved one to the Hospice’s In-Patient Unit. This brought with it feelings of guilt and failure for the main carer because they had previously promised their loved one they would remain at home.

“We are extremely proud that we have been able to support more families and are delighted to have our amazing work recognised. It is a huge honour to be a shortlisted finalist in this years’ Nursing Times Awards.”

The key aims of the Hospice’s new measures were to identify areas of concern for the main carers of patients who were entering the terminal phase of their illness and who wished to remain at home, and to implement measures to ensure each carer felt supported.

Since implementation, there has been a significant reduction in the number of families requesting the transfer of their loved one to the Hospice due to not being able to cope with them being cared for at home. From April 2020 to March 2021, the number reduced from 24 to 10 compared to the same period the previous year.

One family member of a patient who accessed the Dr Kershaw’s Hospice at Home service since the new measures had been implemented commented: “To describe our experience of Dr Kershaw’s as a service does not do justice to the depth of care and dedication shown to all the family as well as my husband at what was a tremendously stressful and distressing time.”

As part of the Dr Kershaw’s Award entry, the Hospice had to show their plans for the future to add further improvements to supporting patients to remain at home, and highlighted their plans to develop a volunteer companion service to support the patient’s main carer by providing them with the comfort their loved one will not be left alone when they have to leave the house.

Joanne Sloan, Dr Kershaw’s CEO, commented: “After such a challenging 16 months, we are absolutely thrilled to have been shortlisted for a Nursing Times Award.

“During the pandemic, our Home Team has had even more impact in the community, particularly when our In-Patient Unit has been closed.

“This nomination celebrates and recognises the work of our dedicated nursing team, out in the community who provide care and support to both patients and families when they need it the most.”

For more information on the Nursing Times Awards visit www.awards.nursingtimes.net

Dr Kershaw’s Hospice provides free, specialist, end-of-life and palliative care for adults with life-limiting illnesses in Oldham and its surrounding areas in a peaceful and homely environment. To find out more online www.drkh.org.uk or call the Hospice on 0161 624 2727.

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