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Staff at five community hospitals run by Dorset HealthCare have won national recognition for treating dying patients with dignity and compassion.
The Willows Unit at the Yeatman Hospital in Sherborne, the Castletown Ward at Portland, Wareham’s Saxon Ward and the Stanley Purser Ward at Swanage, have all achieved accreditation in the Gold Standard Framework (GSF) for end-of-life care.
They join the Tarrant Ward at Blandford Hospital, which earned the honour back in 2015, confirming Dorset HealthCare as one of the country’s leading NHS trusts in this field of work. Cornwall is the only other county with GSF accreditation on its hospital wards.
The GSF is achieved through talking with patients and their families/carers, anticipating their future care needs, reducing inappropriate admissions to acute hospitals and, where possible, supporting patient choices at end of life.
Yeatman Hospital matron Anne Hiscock said: “I feel extremely proud of the staff for achieving this award because it shines a light on all the excellent care they provide for our patients approaching end of life.
“The heartfelt praise I receive from bereaved relatives is testament to the high regard they have for the Willows team, and they appreciate the kindness and compassion shown to them throughout what is one of the most difficult times of their lives.”
South Cadbury resident Sally Lancaster oversaw the care of her mother Rosalind at the Yeatman Hospital in July until her death at the end of August.
Recalling the support her mother and family received, she said: “The way Mum was looked after during such a tough time was so special.
“Each member of the Willows team were devoted to their roles and delivered the highest standard of care, giving my mother the dignified end she deserved.”
Representatives from the wards received their GSF certificates at a prestigious ceremony in London.
And staff at the Trust’s other community hospitals, as well as in the mental health wards at Alderney Hospital in Poole, are also currently working to achieve GSF accreditation.