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Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust; ‘Building on the best’ to improve end of life care

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has been named as one a group of ten acute hospital trusts who have been selected to take part in the ‘Building on the best’ programme, which will support improvements in quality and experience of palliative and end of life care across the UK.

Building on the best will develop new areas of focus for improving end of life care. These will include making information more accessible to patients and their families, to enable more shared decision making; taking the opportunities offered by outpatient appointments to discuss advance and anticipatory care planning; improving the handover of information and records as people move between hospital (acute) and out of hospital (secondary care); and improving pain and symptom management.

The programme will run for two and a half years after which there will be a thorough evaluation and lessons learned will be used to contribute to improvement work on palliative and end of life care in acute hospitals across the country.

Teresa Makinson, End of Life Care Facilitator atWorcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said:“Building on the Best will allow end-of-life care throughout the hospital to be more responsive to the needs of patients and their families.

“The palliative care that people receive at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is highly regarded, and we have been at the forefront of developments in this field in recent years.

“Membership of this programme will allow us to build on this work, and share best practice throughout the wider NHS to ensure as many people as possible benefit from compassionate and responsive end of life care, in which patients and their families are fully involved in decision-making and plans.

“We only have one chance to get it right, and by participating in Building on the Best we can ensure this is what we are able to do for every patient who is in their last weeks and months of life.”

Health Minister Ben Gummer said: “I am determined to improve end of life care and this excellent initiative will benefit thousands of patients and their families at one of the most difficult and vulnerable moments of their lives.

“Thanks to the hard work of the NCPC and Macmillan, the crucial lessons from this programme can be evaluated, shared and implemented in hospitals across the country to ensure the NHS continues to provide high quality care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The programme will run for two and a half years. There will be a thorough evaluation, and lessons learned will be used to contribute to improvement work on palliative and end of life care in acute hospitals across the country. Key staff, representing the project teams, from each of the ten will gather for first time at a two day event in March.

The programme, which is UK-wide, will initially roll-out in England. It is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and is supported by a partnership between the National Council for Palliative Care, Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS England and the NHS Trust Development Authority in England.

4ward is our Trustwide culture change programme which is helping us build a more positive, supportive workplace for the benefit of our patients and colleagues. At its heart are our four 4ward Behaviours.