Grantham’s ‘hospice in a hospital’ was the clear winner of the End-of-life Care Development award at the Building Better Healthcare Awards 2015.
The unit at Grantham and District Hospital is the first of its kind in the UK, and has been recognised for its innovative approach to patient experience at an awards ceremony held last week.
The hospice in a hospital beat off competition from across the country to win the best End-of-Life Care project, being recognised for its unique approach of providing care to patients under the responsibility of GPs, but with access to hospital nurses, doctors and therapists.
The £1.2 million purpose designed six-bedded community hospice, opened in September 2014 as part of a joint venture between St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and Lincolnshire South West Clinical Commissioning Group.
It harnesses the very latest thinking and research, putting the project at the forefront of best practice by adopting a novel approach to design to improve end-of-life care across South West Lincolnshire.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have been announced as the clear winners of this prestigious award,” said Michelle Webb, director of patient vare at St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice. “It demonstrates that when organisations work collaboratively great things can be achieved which enhance the services that we are able to provide to patients and their families.”
Representatives from both St Barnabas Hospice and the local NHS worked with the leading healthcare research think-tank, the King’s Fund, to develop an approach to hospice design that extended best practice.
The hospice was drawn up by the interior design and landscape teams at Franklin Ellis Architects in Nottingham, and led by associate director Andy Dowding - who sits on the board of a hospice himself.
He explained: “The way we deliver end of life care to people is a hugely sensitive issue, but it’s wrong to assume that we can’t design these environments without flair or imagination. If anything, these elements become even more important because people need to feel welcomed.
“I’m immensely proud to have been involved in all of these projects. It has been a privilege to work alongside healthcare professionals who want to make sure that patients are treated with the utmost dignity in surroundings appropriate for them, their families and the community at large.”
Ian Hayden, facilities manager at Grantham and District Hospital, said: “In short, the opening of the Hospice in the Hospital was not the end of a project but the start of a shared journey to ensure that regardless of location or diagnosis, patients are afforded the care that they require to die peacefully and live well until they die. The unit provides services for our local community, closer to home for our patients and their families.”
The Building Better Healthcare Awards judges added: “The old medical assessment unit has been transformed into a beautiful and tranquil space, both internally and externally. The bedrooms are of a good size with tranquil views, which is just what you would want, and patient privacy has been considered. The garden is lovely and there are many small seating spacing.”
Val Blankley, improvement and delivery manager for South West Lincolnshire CCG, said: “We’re so pleased to have won this prestigious award. We’re very proud of the success of the partnership between the NHS and St Barnabas, and I have personally enjoyed being part of the project team to develop such a unique facility.
“Our aim was to develop not just a great facility, but something extraordinary of which the local community can feel proud, and this award proves that we have done that. The hospice is widening local access to services and offering those living in the community with life-limiting illnesses a far wider choice of where and how they want to die.”