How do you achieve a good death in an acute hospital setting ?
Although most people want to spend their last days in their own home almost half (48%) of all deaths in Ireland occur in an acute hospital setting.
Bridging this gap between patient wishes and hospital practice in end-of-life care has been the aim of the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Hospice Friendly Hospitals (HfH) programme.
‘A Wish’, the new animated short film developed by the Hospice Friendly Hospitals poignantly illustrates just how this can be achieved and the small changes that can enable a good death even in a busy acute hospital environment.
The film was directed by Rebecca Lloyd and will be made available through the Hospice Friendly Hospitals programme later this year.
A new book due to be launched by Cork University Press on November 16th develops and expands on the Ethical framework on end-of-life care produced by the Hospice Friendly Hospitals programme last year (more details HERE)
‘End-of-life Care ethics and law‘ written by Joan McCarthy, Mary Donnelly, Dolores Dooley, David Smith & Louise Campbell takes the eight modules of the ethical framework as its foundation.
The book draws on the body of research on the ethical issues in caring for patients at the end-of-life. It pulls together guidelines, codes of conduct, legal positions and bioethical perspectives to act as a multidisciplinary reference source for healthcare and legal professionals seeking clarification on these complex issues. Further details and context on the publication are available HERE.
‘Dignity by Design’ highlights the importance of providing personal, private and dignified spaces for patients and families at end-of-life and the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Hospice Friendly Hospitals ‘Design and Dignity‘ initiative.
This short film has been entered in the Better Together video competition which is highlighting the work of charities to the public by inviting them to vote for featured videos. You can vote for and share the video HERE
Ireland’s first multidisciplinary Postgraduate qualification dedicated to the examination of issues and ethics in End-of-Life care will commence this Autumn.
The Msc in End-of-Life Healthcare Ethics will be based in UCC’s School of Nursing & Midwifery & School of Medicine and will be taught on a part time basis over two years.
The Msc has its origins in the collaboration between UCC, RCSI and the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Hospice Friendly Hospitals programme which led to the production of the Ethical Framework on End-of-Life Care, a tool to guide healthcare practitioners through the medical, ethical and legal issues around End-of-Life care. Additional details on the course structure, entry requirements and application proceedure can be found HERE
Irish Hospice Foundation Scholarship
The Irish Hospice Foundation is offering a scholarship to cover fees for one successful student on the Msc. This scholarship is open to all applicants to the Msc. Scholarship applicants should state in writing (in 1000 words or less) their name, work role and motivation for enrolling on the course. Scholarship applications should also seek to illustrate how they anticipate the course to impact patient care and ways the course will be used to inform and to educate within their organisation. Applications should be sent to the course co-ordinator, Dr. Joan McCarthy, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, University College Cork, Ireland. Application deadline for this course is July 8th
Further details on the Irish Hospice Foundation scholarship can be obtained by contacting Orla.firstname.lastname@example.org
This short video from the Hospice Friendly Hospitals programme featuring interviews with Gabriel Byrne and Seamus Heaney emphasizes the importance of personal, dignified spaces for patients at the end of life. More details on the HfH Design and Dignity fund are available HERE
Wednesday’s Hospice Friendly Hospitals conference ‘End-of-life care; from the margins to the mainstream’ saw the launch of the report on the first ‘National audit of end-of-life care in Hospitals in Ireland’ and the new ‘Quality standards for end-of-life care in Hospitals’
These publications mark the end of phase one of the Hospice Friendly Hospitals programme and represent a significant contribution to the understanding of current practice and future development of end-of-life services in Ireland. The audit, which surveyed end of life care in 24 acute hospitals (75 % of the acute sector) and 19 community hospitals (20% of community sector) presents a unique multi dimensional approach to assessing death and dying in Irish hospitals illustrating the varying perspectives on quality of care at end of life from doctors, nurses, hospital staff patients and relatives.
Among the audit findings are;
20/25% of patients could have died at home were adequate supports in place
Information given to patients’ relatives is often not adequate
Quality levels vary across diseases with cancer at the high end of the spectrum and dementia at the lower end
The hospitals treatment of the family has a lasting effect
The Quality standards, launched by Minister Mary Harney at Wednesdays conference were developed as a framework around which to implement quality care. They have been arranged around the four key areas of Hospital – Staff – Patient -Family and aim to provide access points from which hospitals can integrate compassion and communication into processes and practice.
Calling all healthcare managers, acute and community hospital and nursing home staff, social workers, palliative, hospice and bereavement care professionals.
The Hospice Friendly Hospitals programme, the five-year project aiming to introduce hospice friendly practices into hospital settings recently completed phase one with the conclusion of the first national audit of end of life care practice in Irish Hospitals.
Findings from the audit along with the report ‘Quality standards for end-of-life care in Hospitals‘ will be formally launched at the conference ‘End of life care, from the margins to the mainstream’ which takes place in Clontarf Castle, Dublin on Wednesday May 19th.
The conference offers an opportunity to reflect on the audit findings, examine standards and enter into discussion about the process of bringing end-of-life care from the margins to the mainstream. As such it is of relevance to policy makers, researchers and practitioners or anyone with an interest in end-of-life care.
Full details and conference schedule are available HERE and places can be booked by emailing email@example.com closing date for bookings is May 14th