Lakelands in Corby has become the first hospice in the country to receive an award for the quality of care it gives patients at the end of their life.
Its nursing staff spent 18 months completing the Gold Standards Framework training programme, adapting it for the needs of a hospice.
It is hoped that the model it devised will now be used by hospices all over the country to ensure their patients receive excellent care.
Nurse manager at Lakelands Cathy Langtree said: “The training programme was very time- consuming and we have had to work hard to adapt it to a hospice setting, but it has been incredibly rewarding.
“We have always prided ourselves on the quality of our care, but the Gold Standards Framework has helped us bring more structure to what we do and we now know we have achieved something for our patients.”
After the training programme the hospice and its 12-strong nursing team were assessed by Gold Standards Framework and were awarded Beacon status – the highest award – after being marked excellent in 14 out of 20 categories.
Training covered reducing hospitalisation, relatives support, dementia, dignity, spirituality, symptom control, bereavment and care in the final days.
The hallmark award scheme is used by 2,000 care homes, 32 hospitals and 29 community hospitals, as well as care agencies, across the UK to improve care for people nearing the end of their life. Following its success, Lakelands is now working with Gold Standard Frameworks to devise a new programme especially for hospices which will be launched at its conference in November.
Pat Clipstone, Lakelands’ Hospice at Home co-ordinator, said: “We always knew that we did our best for patients but this proves it. We have improved patient care dramatically. It has been our passion.”
Vic Hardy, hospice founder and trustee, said: “Our policy has been to look for new ways to serve the community.
“This accreditation is an outstanding achivement due to the efforts of Cathy and her team who worked so long and so hard.
“Lakelands is an integral part of our community and will always respond to its needs, so long as funding allows. Our aim is to achieve recognition as a prime example of quality care in the community. All we need is help.”