Research has found that being involved in decisions about their care, physical, emotional, social and spiritual support, access to the right services and to high quality care given by well trained staff were the things important to people facing the end of life. At St Catherine’s we deliver all of these.
For me, it’s the individualised care we give that’s at the heart of what outstanding means.
We work alongside people and their relatives, we listen and we find out what really matters to them all.
We mustn’t take over, particularly at a time when so much has been taken away. We are there to guide and support, to give choice and control back at a time when people may feel overwhelmed and fearful.
Our multi-disciplinary teams work together to make sure each person under the care of St Catherine’s benefits from high quality, coordinated support, tailored to their own wishes and preferences.
When we ask people ‘what matters to you?’ And the answer is different for everyone.
Our care plans don’t just cover medical facts, but details about people’s lives, personalities, likes and dislikes. It’s information that helps us to deliver outstanding care as we get to know someone beyond their illness.
We’re genuinely interested in small details, whether it’s what time someone likes to have their breakfast or whether they prefer a bath or shower.
And we’re not afraid to adapt to different people’s needs. If someone requests a particular meal, we’ll go to the butchers and then cook it, or if a father’s main goal is to walk his daughter down the aisle our team will work with him to improve his mobility.
Recently, when a patient told us he’d like to visit his local pub a final time, two of our staff took him. When another lady was upset about missing a family wedding, we arranged for a reception to be held at St Catherine’s so she could still share in the day.
We do our best to help people achieve their wishes. This commitment to helping people do whatever it is that matters most to them is central to the care we provide.
Providing outstanding care is about more than just making people physically comfortable.
Each individual has a nucleus of family and friends who are all affected by their illness. The people we care for need to know that all those close to them will get the support they need, throughout their illness and afterwards. This helps them to focus on making the most of the time they have together.
People’s emotional needs are very individual but our patient and family support team provide tailored care to suit all needs, through counselling, spiritual care and welfare advice.
If someone needs a solicitor, we’ll source one, if there’s urgent paperwork needed we’ll help with it or if someone wants to talk to a minister or faith leader, we find the right person who can help.
We’re also there for people following bereavement with support and counselling as well as practical guidance and advice.
This flexibility and individualised approach is another example of what outstanding means for those we care for.
At St Catherine’s, we celebrate where we’re getting things right and although our ‘outstanding’ rating is a fantastic chance for us to thank our community and reflect on our successes, it certainly doesn’t mean we’ll rest on our laurels. Quite the opposite!
We’ll be building on our work and using ‘outstanding’ to motivate us. This fantastic accolade will drive us forward to develop and improve our care services even more.
We want to lead our community in support of all those facing death and bereavement, to help make sure that local end of life care is the best it can possibly be and to ensure that we continue to be there for those who need us, when and where it matters most.