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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

A challenge or piece of cake? Being person centred in a hospice environment.

 The opportunity to begin the introduction of looking at how person centred our practices is at St Clare Hospice is too good to miss. Starting with the use of my one page profile #Onepp (1PP) as I began my current role I wanted to expose my new colleagues to what is a different way of thinking about care. 
Why bother when we could say we practice the best holistic care with all our patients? 

I am concerned that holistic care is a blanket term for care structures and processes that are uniform. The care cannot be person centred if the same care model is used in the same way for all. Being person centred is about making what is important to the person central to planning and organisingtheir end of life care, and crucially the person concerned is involved in the preparation. So whilst taking the same approach to care planning the result is individualised care that is set up around what works and what does not for each person. 

In the following stage I have begun work with the inpatient unit team to review just how person centred the unit practice is. We are using the Progress for Providers – End of Life tool from Helen Sanderson Associates to see how person centered our current practice is. This is available electronically too. The group are meeting and working through the tool; I am letting them take the lead so they are ready to own the action plan and next stage of work. 
At the same time I’m seeking support from senior managers and our Board to make sure they understand what we are doing. Once we have completed the assessment stage we can use the tool to create the action plans and priorities for action. The intention is to spread the use of the tool across all our services at St Clare Hospice as we take on an increasingly person centered approach.

I find this an exciting time as teams look afresh at what they do and how they perceive the care they give. I believe it will help us see the relationship we have with those who use our services in a new light as we focus on the person who needs support towards the end of their life. I look forward to telling you more as we progress. And at that point I hope we will be ready to face any challenge, and being a hospice be armed to face it with plenty of cake.

Philip Ball
Director of Patient Care, St Clare Hospice, Hastingwood, Essex.

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