Swan end of life care model launches at Pennine Acute Trust

Swan launch web
Swan end of life care model launches at Pennine Acute Trust
03 February 2017

THE Swan end of life care model has launched today (Friday 03 February) at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

Swan offers dedicated support to patients in the last days of life and to their families into bereavement and beyond.

The Swan scheme is a national scheme which is present in 47 Trusts up and down the country. It was set up by the Trust’s new Assistant Director of Nursing, Fiona Murphy MBE.

A special opening event was held at Fairfield General Hospital to celebrate, which was attended by Fiona Murphy MBE, Trust Medical Director Prof Matt Makin and Trust Deputy Chief Nurse Gill Byrne.

Fiona Murphy MBE, Assistant Director of Nursing at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“I really believe end of life care is everyone’s business and it is about getting it right for every patient every time, irrespective of their place of death. It is really important to look after our families as well as our patients at this really difficult time. This is what our new Swan scheme is all about.

“End of life care is a difficult period for patients and relatives and there are many choices available to them, for example the decision to sign the organ donor register and whether they would prefer to die at home. The Swan scheme will give them the help they need to understand those choices.”

Alice Davies, Macmillan Associate Lead Cancer and Palliative Care Nurse at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“The quality and high standards in which we all deliver end of life care to our patients and families within all care settings is so important. The memories of this care stay with those that are left behind and we only have one chance to get this right for our patients. The Swan scheme is a model of best practice and will further facilitate excellence within the provision of end of life care.”

The Swan scheme uses a swan symbol to represent end of life and bereavement care. Where the swan sign is displayed it allows relatives to have open visiting around the clock.

The swan symbol also acts as a reminder to staff to be extra caring and to pay extra attention to relatives and friends whose loved ones are in the last stages of life and in their greatest time of need.

As part of the Swan scheme the Trust has committed to opening bereavement centres this year at North Manchester General Hospital, The Royal Oldham Hospital and Fairfield General Hospital in Bury. The family room at Rochdale Infirmary will also be refurbished.

As part of the new Swan scheme relatives are given ‘memory bags’ for deceased patients’ property, replacing the traditional plastic bag. Family are also encouraged to take locks of hair, take hand prints and spend close family time together before bereavement.