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SWAN model further enhancing end of life care at Nottingham University Hospitals

The Palliative Care team at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust are further enhancing end of life care by introducing occasion boxes to celebrate Christmas and weddings, at both City Hospital and Queen’s Medical Centre.

The SWAN model of care represents gold-standard end of life care. It acts as a reminder to all staff to pay extra attention to patients as well as families and friends, at their greatest time of need. As part of the initiative staff can create positive memories using items such as ‘memory bags’ for a patient’s property and encouraging families to take personal mementos such as locks of hair or hand prints, as well as focussing on spending close family time together before bereavement.

At times the Palliative Care team facilitate weddings or an early Christmas for end of life patients, to help to create lasting memories with their loved ones. Nottingham Hospitals Charity has provided funding to enable to staff to decorate wards and bays using these boxes, to mark the occasion for patients.

The boxes include decorations to create a celebratory atmosphere, from bunting to LED candles and star lights.

Sarah Freer, Assistant Divisional Nurse, Palliative and End of Life Lead said: “The new occasion boxes will make an early Christmas or wedding more memorable, and create a fond memory for patients, their families and our staff too.”

“The SWAN model continues to grow and change the way our staff look at end of life care and how we can make a patients final moments the most comfortable and memorable for their families.”

With help from the Chaplaincy department at NUH the SWAN occasion boxes will be available for staff to request and use to mark special occasions.