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Patients days from death to be offered ‘compassion’ signs

  • Hospital patients near death to be offered ‘compassion’ signs near their beds
  • The scheme was devised by the east Kent hospitals trust and Pilgrim’s Hospice
  • It’s hoped it will provide comfort and solace to people receiving end-of-life care
  • It’s operating in about 50 wards across the trust, including the 2 founding wards

Hospital patients just hours or days from death are to be offered ‘compassion’ signs near their beds to alert staff and visitors.

The scheme to give them peace, dignity and respect has been devised by the east Kent hospitals trust and the Pilgrim’s Hospice.

They say it will provide more comfort and solace to people receiving end-of-life care and their families.

It’s operating in about 50 wards across the trust, including at Kent and Canterbury Hospital. 

Hospital patients just hours or days from death are to be offered ‘compassion’ signs near their beds to alert staff and visitors

The signs use the hospice’s logo, which features a pair of hands gently embracing a person’s face.

‘It is really about raising awareness’

They can be displayed at the end of a bed, on a curtain, or on the door if a patient is receiving palliative care in a separate room.

But hospital spokesman Steve James said they are only put up with the approval of the patient and their families.

‘It would never be done without consultation’ he said.

‘It is really about raising awareness among other visitors to the ward that someone is receiving end-of-life care and to encourage an atmosphere of quiet dignity and respect in that area.

'It is really about raising awareness among other visitors to the ward that someone is receiving end-of-life care and to encourage an atmosphere of quiet dignity and respect in that area,' hospital spokesman Steve James said

‘It is really about raising awareness among other visitors to the ward that someone is receiving end-of-life care and to encourage an atmosphere of quiet dignity and respect in that area,’ hospital spokesman Steve James said

‘Some palliative care patients do go into separate rooms while others choose to stay on the wards and the signs are put up where it is considered most appropriate.’ 

The symbols are also used on bags that contain the clothing of patients who have died which are awaiting collection by their relatives.

Dignity in dying 

Mr James added ‘There are also posters and leaflets on wards and in departments to explain what they mean and we are spreading the message through our website and social media.’

Sue Cook, consultant nurse for palliative care and the trust’s end-of-life clinical leader, said ‘Those of us who work in the NHS have a duty to ensure that our patients are cared for with dignity, respect and compassion until they die.

‘That’s why the Compassion Project and its symbol is so important to us and all who help those approaching the end of their lives.’

The compassion project has been funded through a legacy donation from the family of past Kent and Canterbury Hospital senior matron and Pilgrim’s trustee Pat Morley.

 



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