This programme has been funded by Forest Holme Hospice Charity and aims to improve the care that Poole Hospital patients receive at the end of their lives.

The ‘Building on the Best’ programme aims to improve end of life care, defined as all care received during the last year of life.

Poole Hospital is one of just 10 trusts in the country to be selected to be part of the national programme, aiming to improve this type of care nationally.

At Poole Hospital, approximately one in every four adult inpatients are in their last year of life, while nationally, half of all people who die, do so in hospital.

Research has shown that once it is recognised that a patient may be approaching the end of their life, care can be significantly improved when patients and families are involved early on in decision making and planning.

This enables nursing and medical staff at the hospital to work with GPs and other colleagues in the community to plan and share an approach to an individual’s care needs – reflecting their wishes – including managing pain and symptoms.

While inspectors for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated end of life care at the hospital as ‘good’ in May 2016, noting it was well-led, compassionate and dignified, staff are keen to further improve where possible.

The hospital has been appealing for members of the public to join an informal reference group to provide insights into what is working well and where end of life care can be improved at Poole Hospital.

The group, which held its first meeting in January 2017, was also asked to give feedback on proposed improvements to practice.

Dr Amy Pharaoh, a consultant in palliative medicine and the clinical lead for the Building on the Best programme, says end of life care is one of the most important areas of healthcare.

“Poole Hospital recognises the significance of all care delivered at end of life and that we only have one chance to get this right,” said Amy (pictured above).

“We want end of life care here to be even more responsive to needs and centred around patients and their families. We believe that by involving patients and their families throughout, we can offer a more individualised service at this incredibly important time of life.

“We want to focus on living, not dying. By asking for members of the public who may have personal experience in this area to contribute, we hope to develop an even better service.”

Building on the Best is funded locally by Forest Holme Hospice Charity.

Anyone interested in finding out more or is joining the reference group should email

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