A project designed by the hospice to welcome patients, partners and their children, was picked as the ‘6Cs Story of the Month’ competition winner – a campaign designed to celebrate care, compassion, communication, competence, commitment and courage in the profession.
The story is now being featured on the Nursing Times website and on the 6Cs Live! website as part of an initiative set up to offer support and encouragement to nurses, midwives and care staff committed to improving quality.
The judging panel included representatives from NHS England, the Nursing Times, a 6Cs Live! patient champion and the Royal College of Nursing, who chose the St Catherine’s Hospice project for ‘going the extra mile’ for not only patients, but also their families.
Community services manager, Linda Gregory, who leads the the Day Therapy Unit, said the sessions had been developed at a time when staff noticed there were a high number of patients with young children being cared for by the team.
The sessions are now organised when there is demand from patients and include everything from craft making activities to emotional support.
Explaining the idea behind the project Linda said: “We wanted to take away the mystery of where a child’s parent or relative went each week. It’s only natural for children to be curious so we wanted to welcome them by holding dedicated, invitation-only events. At first during the schools holidays and now on Saturdays.
“The sessions, often based around themes such as Halloween or Christmas, enable us to break down barriers with children and satisfy their curiosity about hospice care, as well as helping to create treasured memories during what is an emotional time. We have also found it very beneficial for children whose parent might later be admitted to our In-Patient Unit.
“Because they have already been to the hospice and spent time in that environment, coming to visit their mum or dad as an in-patient is not as daunting or frightening as it might have been.”
Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England, said: “The team at St Catherine’s Hospice embodies what the 6Cs are all about. The care, compassion and commitment they show their patients’ families is fantastic; particularly in what is often a very difficult time for everyone.”
Jimmy Brash, director of care at St Catherine’s Hospice, said he was thrilled that the day therapy team has been recognised in this award:
“One particular team member recognised the need for a different type of support and this stirred up the interest and enthusiasm of other team members. Linda worked alongside the whole team to turn the idea into a reality. This is a wonderful example of the 6Cs in practice.”
Stephen Greenhalgh, chief executive of St Catherine’s Hospice, added: “I am delighted that 6Cs Live! and the Nursing Times are finding creative ways of sharing special stories of grass roots compassionate care like this. Congratulations to all involved!”