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Sharing Current Scottish Practice

Poster Abstracts of the Month: June

The SPPC Annual Conference in 2018 featured 48 poster displays, sharing work and research underway across Scotland. Each month, this blog focuses on the content of a few of these posters. This month, we focus on six of these:

Inspiring Leadership leading self; leading with others in a palliative care setting


Claire O’Neill, Jane Miller, Susan Jackson, Fiona Wylie.


Pilot and evaluate a leadership programme for band 6 Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist’s working within NHSGGC acute and hospices. The programme focussed on the leadership behaviours set out in the NHS Scotland Leadership Qualities Framework.


The programme aims included to build participants personal effectiveness, resilience and create a network of support, develop leadership behaviours consistent with an enabling culture and deliver a quality improvement project demonstrating impact on patient and families’ care experience. Participants attended master classes on:

• Myers Briggs and Working with Differences

• Quality Improvement Methodology

• Influencing skills

• Strategic landscape for Palliative Care.

They undertook 360 review with feedback sessions linking with PDPs, Action Learning Sets, shadowing opportunities and completed a work-based QI project.

The programme was evaluated using a combination of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods.


The evaluation data indicates that this was a very effective programme. The line manager / key person qualitative data supported the views of the participants by giving tangible examples of the impact of the programme at individual, patient, team and organisational levels.


The outstandingly positive evaluation of the programme supports the view there is a need for this programme to continue.

Investigating the need for palliative care among people who are homeless in Scotland


Joy Rafferty

A scoping exercise assessed the need for palliative care among people who are homeless in Scotland. Published homelessness data estimated the number of homeless people in Scotland. Literature review examined morbidity and mortality, challenges of providing palliative care to homeless people and their views on palliative care.
There were 34,100 homelessness applications in Scotland in 2016/17 though the true number of homeless people is likely double this. The literature shows complex palliative care needs with homeless people having significantly worse symptoms at end of life than other populations. Challenges to providing palliative care described in the literature include uncertain prognostication, complex trauma, chaotic lifestyles, service design and delivery and few available options. In published research homeless people expressed fears of dying anonymously, alone, on the streets and not being found and of being forgotten after death. Self-determination was vital, with concerns admission would cause a loss of freedom and control. Psychosocial care, staff availability, continuity and developing trusting relationships were essential. The importance of staff reaching out was expressed.
We need to consider how palliative care services can be more accessible and responsive to the needs of people who are homeless in Scotland.

Kilbryde Hospice to Kirriemuir Nursery: See how our garden grows!


Karen Kilpatrick; Melissa Woodhouse

Kilbryde Hospice Day Services, providing a rehabilitative model of care, was keen to introduce therapeutic horticulture to promote independence and promote wellbeing. Equally, a local nursery wished to establish a link to the hospice. A joint project to promote an intergenerational partnership was established in April 2018 to establish and maintain the external gardens in the new hospice grounds. Epstein & Boisvert (2006) reported the benefits of an intergenerational space that is shared whilst Kaplan, (1995) acknowledges the use of natural environments to be beneficial in promoting wellbeing. This project endorses Scottish Government Health& Social Care Standards (2017) to encourage hospice staff to provide activities that patients can participate in either indoors or outdoors.
To provide social and therapeutic horticulture to Kilbryde Hospice Day Services patients improving their wellbeing through active or passive gardening. Involving the nursery children allows a working relationship to develop, expanding their knowledge of plant life and develop their social skills within the hospice environment.
• Weekly visits by nursery children to hospice for 30 minutes
• No more than 8 children in a group at the one time
• Children accompanied by 2 or 3 staff members
• Kirriemuir staff fully responsible for the children on their visit
• Hi-visibility vests provided by nursery to be worn by children
• Children and patients to maintain 3 main garden areas; patio, front garden and rear garden.
• Therapeutic horticulture planned within Hospice Day Services 13-week programme
• Provision of one clinical support worker and 2 volunteers per session
• Patient choice to attend the session
• All levels of mobility catered for
• Fundraising Team at Kilbryde arranged for donation of plants and soil.
6 patients with regular horticulture participation
• IPOS scores decreased in feelings of anxiety and worry in 3 patients
• IPOS scores improved in feeling depressed in 3 patients
“I like going to help everyone at the hospice” HL
“I loved all the plants because some were coloured” JD
Kilbryde Patients:
“Kids make us laugh with what they say and do” AMH
“Both patients and children enjoy mixing. Long may it continue!” TH
Nursery Staff:
“Promotes the bond between adults and children working together” MW
“Children have developed a sense of responsibility” JA
Kilbryde Volunteers:
“Loved listening to kids asking patients about plants” ME
“Watching the children interested in the flowers and sharing tasks, they brightened up the patient’s day.” MI
• Improved outcomes on measuring feelings of anxiety, worry, depression
• Apparent improvement in social isolation
• Introduction of therapeutic horticulture has now been embedded into Day Services 13-week
• A planned seasonal project has extended to throughout the year with periodic adjustments
• Exclusively positive feedback from all 4 sources
• Nursery visits have increased to twice a week as a result.
Epstein,A.S. & Boisvert,C. (2006) Let's Do Something Together Journal of Intergenerational Relationships. 4 3 87-109
Kaplan S. (1995) The restorative benefits of nature: Toward an integrative framework. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 15(3):169-182.
Scottish Government (2017) Health & Social care Standards. My support, my life. Crown Copyright

Lessons learned from integration of IPOS into the Community: Building relationships and sharing learning and understanding between Specialist and Generalist Palliative Care Services


Neill Cree; Dr G Dunnet; Dr S McConnell; Dr J McKane; Janice Renfrew; Dr C Sime; Dr John Thompson; Dr Margaret Thompson

The aim of the project was to embed the use of the Integrated Palliative Outcome Scale (IPOS) within the Inverclyde Community Primary Care teams. IPOS is a validated and reliable tool used to identify unmet needs for people living with a life limiting illness. IPOS use within primary care is an innovative strategy. IPOS use in Specialist Palliative Care Services is well established.
We identified key barriers and challenges to collaborative inter-disciplinary working within Generalist and Specialist services. We acknowledged the different priorities in managing patients with life limiting illnesses and focused on innovative solutions to translate and integrate the use of IPOS into the Community.
We had to establish project momentum by supporting community staff. We developed case-based reflections, education and mentorship programmes to enable practices to embed IPOS development whilst supporting teams to develop clinical governance solutions to allow maximal impact of IPOS. We trained IPOS champions in the community to allow learning to be shared.
We identified key barriers and developed multifaceted solutions for the interaction and communication between Generalist and Specialist Palliative Care Services during integration of a new tool in an environment where Generalists have competing demands, specific to their specialty.

Lifetime in Pebbles


Shona Crain; Mairi-Ann Higgins; Ishbel Murdoch

The poster displays a creative project that tells the story of the growth of the Accord Hospice in Paisley where a large pebble mosaic has been hand painted by patients, families, volunteers, staff and local school children. The creation of the mosaic has involved the therapeutic benefits of art and is a reflection of the community the hospice is embedded in. It is installed in the gardens of the Accord Hospice.

Making a Difference – The Provision of Palliative and End of Life Care within a Community Hospital


Lynne Hoffin; Linda Kerr; James Mack; Dr Jillian Nicoll; Dr Kathleen Sherry; Morag Thomson; Karen Wilson

Patients in their last year of life use 30% of all acute hospital bed days. Evidence shows that over 50% of Scotland’s annual deaths take place in hospital. About 50% of NHS complaints relate to end of life care.

Community hospitals such as the Biggart Hospital play an important role in the provision of healthcare. They are at the forefront of shifting the balance of care from acute services into the community and they are ideally placed to develop a range of services focussing on the provision of palliative and end of life care.

MacMillan ward is a 23 bedded which specialises in palliative, end of life and Hospital Based Complex Continuing Care for patients with the need for frequent, sometimes not easily predictable, clinical interventions.

During a planned Leadership Walk round it was identified that there appeared to be issues with patients’ treatment being deemed unnecessarily escalated who were approaching the end of their life. Other factors identified during the transfer process were the lack of treatment plans, recognition or assessment of the palliative identity or needs of these individuals. These complexities and lack of recognition of palliative care needs were having an impact on establishing and implementing an individual’s wishes in regard to their plan of care.

This project focused on enhancing the experience for patients and their families with generalist palliative care, death, dying and bereavement needs, through the provision of specialist palliative care support/education for nursing and medical staff within MacMillan Ward.

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