Supporting Learners Award Winner

Supporting Bereaved Relatives - Royal Lancaster Infirmary
University Hospital Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT)

This unique training package was initially devised to support porters when collecting a deceased patient to take them to the mortuary. The project focused on ensuring porters felt knowledgeable and confident in their roles and as a result bereaved relatives would feel more supported. The objective was to ensure porters were able able to converse with family members sensitively even in the most difficult circumstances. This training was also part of a response to the Better Endings report (NIHR 2015) which highlighted the need to improve end of life care.

After a period of consultation a pilot workshop was developed, which has since been extended to include other non-clinical staff. This targeted and flexible training was both factual and practical in content, delivered in tandem by a specialist bereavement nurse and project lead, Helen O’Neil, the education facilitator. Importantly it allowed staff to share their experiences, whilst UHMBT learnt how impactful training with small groups can be on service delivery. UHMBT also realised how much staff appreciated the training investments, and soon realised how much staff appreciated the training investments. The trust is now very clear about the integral role nonclinical staff play in supporting patients and relatives at the end of life. Although the initial focus was on increasing porter confidence and knowledge it has changed practice too, refocusing attention on what was actually happening on wards by highlighting simple, often minor steps to build better practice.

Nominated by Janet Thorpe