Gillian Sherwood, The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice’s director of clinical services, looks to the future as we prepare to move to a new purpose-built home in Bellahouston Park.
The biggest change in the new hospice will be around the choices people have. For example, having the choice with the rooms to be private or be involved. The Sengetun model in our new inpatient environment allows patients to either choose to be separate or open their room up to be part of a communal space. I think that choice is a huge improvement.
And, of course, every room has access to outdoor space. At the moment we are in the middle of the city centre, so having outdoor space will make a huge difference.
From the point of view of the service generally we’ll have much more open space in our building. If relatives are visiting, we’ll also have much better designated spaces for those coming in who want to stay or be with their families. At the moment we have folding beds in our family rooms and that’s not great.
From an outpatient point of view, the community service, the majority of our patients are seen out in the community and we are looking towards further developing the way in which we support people in their homes.
Still, for outpatients we will be much more flexible. We’ll have a young adults’ lounge, for instance. The facility for young adults will be much more in keeping with what they’re used to, not like coming into a very old building that’s modelled around the older adult.
And there will be a beautiful exhibition area and the artists who currently work with us will be able to showcase patients’ work.
In our current ward area, it’s not ideal being in a four-bedded area as we can’t always promise we’ll get patients in a single room because space is limited. By having single rooms that give people the option to be communal, suddenly they have choice.
And that will also be different from the point of view of the way staff will look after people.
Just now we have beds that are less observable. So if we have patients who are confused or disorientated it makes it much harder to admit them to an area where we can’t see them.
None of the beds will be unobservable in the new hospice.
Some of the changes will make a huge difference as we sometimes have a waiting list where we have lots of men waiting to come in but we don’t have a male bed. That will never happen again.
Accessibility to the ward will be better so we will be able to meet people’s needs quicker, have them in the right place at the right time rather than our environment dictating.
It wasn’t so many weeks ago that we had several men on the waiting list and we ended up having a huge turnaround of our ward area. In one ward a lot of the gentlemen were moved to the other ward to allow us space to bring in more men. So the gentlemen were moved about when they didn’t need to be, but it was to allow us to make the best use of the beds that we had.
The extended Butterfly Service, offering bereavement support for children and young people, is looking at different models of care and part of that is about enabling people rather than medicalising treatment. One of the things they will be doing is walking groups and that’s going to be so much easier in a park than in the centre of the city.
We’ll still be in the heart of Glasgow but it will be an area where people can go out and we can promote health differently. It will be good for our staff too. There might be walking groups for staff at lunchtime, so it’s not just the patients who will have the advantage of our location.
And there will be outside space for patients, staff and families to eat. How much nicer is it to have that?
The environment will really impact on the wellbeing of everyone.
Fiona Wylie, our senior nurse for strategy implementation, has been seconded to the hospice from NHSGGC because not only are we moving from one building to another, which is going to mean huge changes for us all, but we are moving at a time where we are starting to transition young adults. And that’s a significant change to our models of care.
Fiona was brought in to support the staff in that change and a lot of what we’ve found in all the transition work across the country is that relationship building is key. It’s not just about building relationships with the patients and carers but also the professionals who have been working with them so that they have a confidence that these people are transitioning safely to us.
Fiona’s input has been huge in developing those relationships, and Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) has been wonderful in supporting the staff in the secondments.
There’s a huge amount of change going on in the organisation just now. As well as keeping up with the day to day running of services, it’s making sure there is a seamless transition to the new building and a change in services.
Relationships aren’t built in a day and we’re not going to get the confidence of young adults and their families within days. That’s something we need to build on.
All these things need to be looked at – even our catering is going to be different. The fact that we will have young adults in the building, and they eat at any time of the day or night, has to be considered. Although we have facilities over 24 hours, some of that will have to be different to meet the needs of different groups of people.
Currently we have young adults attending outpatient clinics, and we have them attending some of our art services. We are also working with our own clinical nurse specialists, sometimes outwith our catchment area, for patients who have been referred to us, to make sure we’re working with the professionals to upskill them and give them the support they need to take on this change.
From the point of view of the young adults, we’re working with them so that we can learn – we know this building is not fit for purpose but what changes can we make at the moment to make it better for them? What can we learn as we move over?
A huge amount of engagement work was done a few ago with young adults and their families and even in that time things have changed.
To make sure we’re up to date with all the things that have changed even in that short space of time and make sure that our staff are aware of all the different policies that are applicable, all the stuff on the Scottish Government’s Getting It Right for Every Child invitiative, that’s something our staff need to be even more knowledgeable about than they would have before.
There’s lots to be done from the point of view of education, the environment, and from policies.
Working on building relationships is another huge change. The last two years has seen the introduction of the joint integrated boards and it is important to be building relationships with them.
East Renfrewshire has a new health and social care partnership and we now have an information hub there.
It’s all about continually improving and developing our services, evaluating what really makes a difference to the communities we serve.