PROVIDING end of life care requires both knowledge about a condition and sensitivity to the needs of the patient and family.
The staff at Sutton’s Forest Manor Care Home know this only too well and now they have been recognised for their dedication and expertise with an end of life accreditation from NHS Nottinghamshire County.
It is the first one to be awarded in Nottinghamshire and recognises different aspects of palliative care, including dealing with the psychological aspects of death, administering medication and working with both patients and families.
As part of their accreditation, the care home also received a syringe driver which allows the correct dose of medication to be given to someone as and when they need it.
Manager Raj Govindaraju, whose background is in nursing, says that many patients prefer to move to a care home, rather than be in hospital, at the end of their lives.
He said: “There is nothing else they can do in the hospital and it is also more homely here.
“In a hospital, the family cannot visit any time they want but here they can come any time.”
His thoughts were echoed by experienced nurse Mary Hamilton, who is joint deputy manager with another nurse, Sean Craig.
She says: “There are no restrictions in visiting and families can come at any time. People can carry on doing things for as long as it is possible and we encourage that.
“We meet all their other needs, like pain control because quality of life is so important at the end of life stage.”
She added that unlike in a hospital, residents get to see the same members of staff and get used to the continuity.
End of life care can be a subject that people shy away from but the staff at Forest Manor are determined to involve all the families of the residents, who also organise events and hold their own meetings.
Mary says: “Quantity (of life) is nothing if the quality is not there. Quality is paramount - keeping people comfortable and making sure all their needs are met.”
Sean added: “Part of it is presenting them with the options but not coercing them to make a decision.”