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Building on the Best Grants


Phase 2 of Building on the Best aims to improve palliative and end of life care on hospital wards in Scotland and in turn improve the experiences and outcomes of patients and their families. In part, this improvement will be achieved through working in partnership with a range of acute specialities to deliver a variety of locally identified improvement projects.

We know that at any point nearly 1 in 3 hospital beds in Scotland is occupied by someone who will die within 12 months. Applications therefore will be invited from any acute clinical area that can demonstrate a need for improvement in the care being offered to patients who are experiencing a deterioration in their health and facing an uncertain outcome.

Since March 2020, palliative care teams have been living and working in unprecedented times. New and emerging models of care were implemented at pace, teams reconfigured and practice having to be adapted based on limited and emerging data.

We asked the members of the Scottish Network of Acute Palliative Care (SNAPC) members at our June meeting on their views of what the priority for funding should be following phase 1 of the pandemic. The results showed people wanted the ability to run local projects that could then feed into national workstreams to share learning and build a national profile of acute palliative care services. They also wanted to focus on key areas. These are:

Funding Awards

The grants scheme closed mid Sept and the following grants were awarded mid Oct:

Small Quality Improvement (QI) Projects (up to £1,000):

Project Lead: Elizabeth Anderson (NHS GG&C)

Title: ACP

Project Aim: To improve the anticipatory care planning and promote good conversations for patients in Inverclyde Royal Hospital.


Project Lead: Gail Allan (NHS Western Isles)

Title: Patient Belonging Bereavement Bags

Project Aim: To improve the experiences of families and carers, following the bereavement of a loved one in hospital, with all in-patient areas using dignified and respectful bags/boxes to return patients valuables and belongings to families and carers.


Project Lead: Jackie Wright (NHS GG&C)

Title: Guidance At the End of Life (GAEL)

Project Aim: To improve the care experience for patients, relatives and carers during the last few days of life in the acute setting.


Project Lead: Douglas High/Lynsey Fielden (NHS Forth Valley)

Title: Senses Trolley

Project Aim: To improve the quality of end of life care delivered on the ward by promoting and enabling a far more person centred experience by using a senses trolley.


Project Lead: Steven McDonald/Evelyn Patterson (NHS Forth Valley)

Title: Champions for Change

Project Aim: To improve equity of palliative care access across mental health services within Forth Valley.


Project Lead: Patricia O’Gorman (NHS GG&C)

Title: The Final Journey

Project Aim: To improve the family and staff experience when transitioning of a deceased patient from the ward to the mortuary.


Large QI Projects (up to £10,000):

Project Lead: Gail Allan (NHS Western Isles)

Title: ACP

Aim: To improve the communication and use of ACP across all clinical services to improve the care experience of people living in the Western Isles.


Project Lead: Laura Lennox (NHS Dumfries & Galloway)

Title: Mouth Care Matters

Aim: To use the Mouth Care Matters programme (HEE, 2019) to improve the mouth care of all in-patients in Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary.


Project Lead: Janine Wilson (NHS Lothian)

Title: ICU Bereavement

Aim: To improve the quality of bereavement care experienced by family members who experience the death of a loved one in critical care/intensive care.


Project Lead: Dr Deans Buchanan & Dr Graeme Guthrie (NHS Tayside)

Title: Vascular Palliative EOLC

Aim: To build an integrated Vascular Surgical and Palliative Medicine approach to the management of people with complex vascular disease.


Project Lead: Dr Shobhan Thakore (NHS Tayside)

Title: Shared Decision Making & Treatment Escalation Planning

Aim: By Jan 2022, 80% of patients (with their families if appropriate) admitted to unscheduled acute care in Tayside with palliative or end of life care needs will be involved in decisions regarding their care using a structured Treatment Escalation Plan.


Project Lead: Dr Andrew Goudie (NHS Tayside)

Title: Palliative Care for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Aim: To improve the palliative care delivery for patients hospitalised with an acute exacerbation of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

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