A nurse’s perspective
The team in our Inpatient Unit is amazing and everyone is very committed to providing the best possible care. However, patients are living longer and this means that they often have complex conditions with some very challenging symptoms. In addition, patients’ emotional symptoms often increase as their illnesses develop. The current configuration of the Hospice building makes dealing with these difficult situations much more complicated.
It can be extremely distressing for patients if they are sharing a room with someone with a more advanced illness and there is, of course, a very significant psychological impact on a patient if the person they are sharing with dies. We try to make sure that patients who are dying are in single occupancy rooms but moving patients can be disruptive and it is not always possible if the Inpatient Unit is full.
From the team’s perspective, the redesigned configuration of the Inpatient Unit will increase our visibility of rooms and this will make it easier to care for all our patients, especially those that are vulnerable.
Single room occupancy improves infection control which will increase the bed occupancy rate. They will also enable us to offer much more person-centred care as treating people as individuals is sometimes difficult in shared rooms. It will be easier to hold confidential medical discussions with patients and talk to family members about sensitive issues such as advance care plans, without the need to take them off to a quiet corner of the Hospice. Ensuite shower rooms and overnight facilities for a relative will make this very difficult time much more comfortable for both patients and their families.
I see the IPU refurbishment as enhancing the privacy and the dignity of the patient to improve their quality of life.