A special pack designed to bring comfort to relatives of patients who are in the last few days or hours of life will, from this week, now include additional items. South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s End of Life team have been working in Barnsley Hospital over the last year to bring relatives a ‘comfort care pack’.
A review has found that the Comfort Care Packs given to patients and their families over a 12 month pilot have already been extremely well received. Now, the new enhanced pack will include additional items such as mints, tissues, puzzle book, notepad, pen, toothbrush and toothpaste. The additional items were requested through feedback from relatives who have taken part in the project over the last 12 months. Suzanne Monks, End of Life Care Facilitator for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said, "The main aim of the packs was to offer items that enhance care for relatives and patients within the hospital setting by duplicating some of the comfort measures that can be found in a hospice environment. "The act of being able to give the packs will also help staff to start conversations with patients and families at such a difficult time. "The additional items have been requested through feedback by relatives and carers who over the last 12 months had received the Comfort Care Packs and said the additional items could improve experiences further." The Comfort Care Packs will continue to contain information on signs and symptoms, general hospital information and bereavement services, meal vouchers to be used in the hospital, vouchers for free car parking and a voucher for a free Chronicle newspaper. End of life patients and families can also benefit from the use of CD players to play music or audio books and special V shaped cushions which will allow relatives to sleep more comfortably if they wish to stay with loved ones.
All of the Comfort Care Packs and CD players are now accessible from the medical equipment library for families when they are staying with a relative who is dying.