Author(s): Germain A, Doyle R, Nolan K, Gambles M, Roberts A,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: In the UK, the majority of people die in hospital.(1) Community presence is considered to be a significant component to achieving a "good death",(2,3) however many patients die with no/few visitors, spending their last weeks of life isolated or alone. AIM: To establish a Volunteer Service and offer: A presence to dying patients. A connexion to the community outside the Hospital. Support to families, unable to visit or emotionally exhausted from their bedside vigil. METHODS: The Service was piloted on 6 wards (October 2012-March 2013) within a large NHS Trust, in the North of England. This was followed by a comprehensive evaluation, according to MRC guidance. RESULTS: Analysis of the service evaluation indicated that the service was extremely beneficial, meeting its aims in providing an emotional support and spiritual presence to dying patients, and their families. CONCLUSION: The Service provides a model of best practice that could be replicated in other Trusts and within other care settings. There are plans to further develop and expand service provision across the Trust. REFERENCES: National End of Life Care Intelligence Network. What we know now. 2013. http://www.endoflifecare-intelligence.org.uk/resources/publications/what_we_know_now_2013 Department of Health. End of Life Care Strategy. 2008. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/end-of-life-care-strategy-promoting-high-quality-care-for-adults-at-the-end-of-their-life Kellehear A. The end of death in late modernity, an emerging public health challenge. Crit Public Health 2007;17(1):71-79. © 2015, Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
This article was published in BMJ Support Palliat Care
and referenced in Journal of Community & Public Health Nursing