A Dorset nursing home has gained a national accolade for the way it supports relatives whose loved ones receive end of life care.
Despite already offering highly regarded care, staff at the home had said they wanted to do more to support families in the early stages of bereavement.
Canford Chase, run by family-owned Colten Care, was the only non-NHS setting to complete the programme which culminated in an awards ceremony in London.
The home won the gong for ‘Best Application of Methodology’, recognising how well coaching, mentoring, webinars and interactive team exercises have informed the approach to bereavement support.
Specific actions include reflective practice, shadowing and observation of colleagues, more practical support for visiting families, and a remembrance day.
Among those involved in the programme were Theresa Sales, Clinical Lead, Charlotte Wilson, Home Manager, and Karen Wadey, Senior Care Lead.
Karen, who has taken on a leadership role in support of end of life care, said: “I was really pleased to be asked to do this.
“When I joined Canford Chase, the team were dealing well with end of life, but struggled in their own confidence.
“I’ve used this opportunity to help build their confidence as well as my own.”
Charlotte said: “We have all developed a greater knowledge and awareness of the importance and impact that high standards of end of life care can provide.
“To ensure these high standards, the focus has been on enabling the wider team to have greater confidence when offering end of life care and in particular when considering the needs of the affected family members.”
Working in partnership with Canford Chase during the programme was Dr Saskie Dorman, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Forest Holme Hospice, part of Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Saskie said: “We met regularly throughout the project to focus on progress being made and reflect on the experience of residents who had died or who were receiving care towards the end of their life, and that of their families.”
Charlotte added: “We really hope to build on this achievement and continue working with Saskie to improve the service we offer but also perhaps focus on the relationship in general between the NHS and care homes at the point of end of life.”
In a letter to Canford Chase in February 2018, one daughter of a resident wrote: “Thank you all for looking after and caring for my mother. You all treated her with such compassion and respect. She was very happy at Canford and, likewise, we were very happy she was receiving such superb care.”