Making our hospital even better

While everyone at Kingston Hospital is proud that the quality of care is currently rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission, there is always more that we can be doing to ensure all our patients receive the best care possible. At the moment, we need your help to raise the monies needed for the following:

Bereavement Practitioner
Fundraising Goal
£35,000

Rear view of aman with his young child looking in to the sunset

Whilst the core role of our hospital is to make people better, sadly this is not always possible and in the 2022-23 financial year there were 952 deaths. While our hospital offers high quality and compassionate care at the end of life to patients and their families and carers, there is a determination to do more.

The pandemic highlighted the need to improve services for bereaved people. National guidance states that good end of life care must encompass pre-bereavement and bereavement care. A report by Health Watch Kingston in 2022 identified a need for better co-ordination of bereavement support and services, as well as higher quality information, facilities and ways of helping people in their time of grief and loss. While staff deliver comprehensive and high-quality end of life care to patients and their families up until death and in the immediate post-death period, there is not currently the capacity to support families and carers further in their bereavement journey.

We are now seeking your help to improve the way that our services at Kingston Hospital provide compassionate advice and support to families and carers after someone has died. Even when a death is expected, end of life situations can be very challenging for families and carers. Kingston Hospital would like to be able to appoint a Bereavement Practitioner who will support families and carers, helping them to navigate an emotional and challenging time, for an initial eighteen-month pilot.

The Bereavement Practitioner will co-ordinate a team of end of life companion volunteers who will provide pre-bereavement support and companionship to dying patients and their families with their role extending to provide timely bereavement support after the death of their loved one. The Bereavement Practitioner will provide families with clear information about what to do when a loved one dies in hospital, support them in the first hours and days of bereavement and connect them with local services which can provide ongoing longer-term support with their grief. Creating this role will enable our hospital to reach more people affected by the death of a loved one across its services and deliver education and training to ensure that our staff have the same unified and compassionate approach to communicating with the bereaved.

Ultimately, we want to make the unbearable bearable, by ensuring we have the right support in place to provide truly comprehensive and holistic care for patients and their families.

Are you able to help us improve the compassionate advice and support we can provide to families and carers after someone has died? By donating £29 you could provide an hour’s Bereavement Practitioner support. To make a donation, please click here and select ‘Bereavement Services’ in the drop down menu on the donation form.

Tranquil spaces on our respiratory ward
Fundraising Goal
£3,100

view of a ceiling skylight showing treesWe are continuing to fundraise to improve the quality of experience for patients who benefit from being cared for in one of the side rooms on our wards. These are often patients who have special educational needs, advanced dementia or who are dying.

The aim is to use the senses of sight, smell and sound to create a calming natural sanctuary, which feels far removed from the busy clinical environment. Each room incorporates softer lighting, a skylight above each bed and more comfortable furniture. They also include artwork to create a more homely feel, along with a notice board so that patients or family members can place pictures and cards on the wall which are special to them. Other features unique to these rooms include an aroma diffuser, as well as a digital radio, so that patients and their loved ones can tune in to something they enjoy listening to.

With the help of individuals and organisations across our community, we have so far created 22 tranquil spaces on our care of the elderly, stroke, surgical and orthopaedic wards. The cost of incorporating these features in each room equates to approximately £3,100. We are now focused on successfully converting the six side rooms on Hamble Ward into tranquil spaces. One of those has been funded already by a local family in memory of their husband, father and grandfather.

Kelli Diamond, Matron – Surgery & Urology said:

“The four tranquil spaces that were created on Astor and Alex wards during 2022 have particularly benefitted patients who are receiving end of life care. They provide a calm and inviting space for patients and their families who are able to stay with their loved ones overnight as the chair in these rooms fold out into a bed. The added extras we’ve included may seem small, yet the difference they make to those using these tranquil spaces is considerable.”

Chief Nurse, Nichola Kane, explained:

“The impact of these changes can be really significant in terms of improving the hospital experience for some of our most vulnerable patients and their loved ones. It’s another great example of how our charity enhances the care environment for patients and their families and I am so grateful to all who have supported us with this programme and to those thinking of helping us develop tranquil spaces on our respiratory ward.”

To make a donation, please <click here>  and select ‘Tranquil Spaces’ in the drop down menu. For a more considered discussion about our plans, please call Tracey on 020 8973 5040.

A new intensive care unit
Fundraising Goal
£tbc

staff tending patient

Planning is underway to build a new intensive care unit (ICU). Critical care is essential to Kingston Hospital, with many other services dependent on its functioning to provide high-quality, safe emergency and elective patient care. Outcomes for patients cared in our intensive care unit are nationally recognised and Kingston Hospital has received agreement in principle to build a new facility on site, increasing the number of beds while transforming the quality of the environment for patients, their families and staff working in the unit.

The current ICU is a challenging environment. Staffing models are inhibited due to the number of single rooms and restricted lines of site, whilst daylight is compromised for many of the existing beds and as a result the means of providing a 24-hour rhythm for patients during their stay, which is known to aid recovery, is not available. Space for adequate equipment to treat and assist in rehabilitation is also lacking, restricting the ability to provide patients with the opportunity to sit out and mobilise prior to transferring to an inpatient ward.

Charitable support is needed to help ensure the new facility is fully equipped when it opens and provides an exceptional care environment for the patients who require critical care, for those family and friends who can spend long periods in the unit, and for the staff who are committed to delivering intensive therapy and rehabilitation in a compassionate and efficient manner.

For further information, please get in touch with Rob Aldous on 07901 103687 or email r.aldous@nhs.net