Death and dying is very difficult to deal with, even for staff who work in hospitals, but helping patients and their families at their time of greatest need is hugely important to us.

It is a privilege to care for people at end of life and support their relatives/friends; we only have one chance to get it right.

The Trust has implemented the Swan Scheme to represent end of life and bereavement care. Following advice, support and permission from Fiona Murphy at the Royal Alliance Bereavement and Donor Service, a nurse-led innovation transforming practice across 3 large acute hospital trusts in the North West of England with the purpose of providing excellent end of life care for all.

The Scheme is symbolised by a Swan Logo. Thanks to the support and fundraising of the League of Friends of the RSH & Friends of the PRH who have funded the Swan Boxes.

All wards are stocked with Swan Memory Boxes and useful contents. This includes an information leaflet & letter to tell relatives about the scheme. The Swan Scheme is for those patients who are supported by the end of life plan.

Training sessions continue on the End of Life Plan & the Swan Scheme to date over 1000 clinical staff have attended training. The Trust had an End of Life Care Conference in November 2015 ‘Making a difference to end of life care for all’ over 160 Clinical Staff attended (over 100 Staff from SaTH and the rest were from local CCG¹s, Care Homes, Care Agencies, Community Trust, Hospice and other Hospitals.

The new Swan Bereavement Suite was officially opened by Dr Ashley Fraser, Deputy Lieutenant of Shropshire and former Medical Director at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs the RSH. The investment has transformed the suite and mortuary facilities, which had remained relatively unchanged since the 1970s. Improvements include two new “Swan” rooms for families to say goodbye to loved ones, as well as a “Cygnet” room for children. The new facilities incorporate the Swan Scheme, which is being implemented across the Trust to improve End of Life Care. The rooms include comfortable furniture and specially chosen artwork, to create a calming environment.

Other improvements include a Bereavement Garden, where people can take time to reflect in peaceful surroundings, as well as improved car parking and washroom facilities.

Jules Lewis, End of Life Care Facilitator at SaTH, said: “We have been aware for a long time that improvements were needed in this area and we are delighted with what has been achieved.”

Contact: [email protected] Our Trust Values are – Proud To Care, Make It Happen, We Value Respect, Together We Achieve. This information truly incorporates these values to improve end of life and bereavement care within our Trust.

Thank you, Jules Lewis End of Life Care Facilitator.