Special diary for relatives of end of life care patients highlighted

A SPECIAL diary for the relatives of patients on end of life care has been highlighted in a prestigious health journal.

The Family’s Voice diary has been included as an example of good practice and learning in the International Journal of Palliative Nursing.

The purpose of the diary is to improve communication between relatives and health professionals in hospital and as a record of relatives’ views on the quality of care.

It has since been adopted by other NHS trusts, including neighbouring Gateshead.

Since it was created by nurse consultant in palliative care Mel McEvoy 11 years ago it has been completed by more than 1,400 relatives (with a 60% uptake).

Mel has also been invited to speak about the diary at the NHS Improvement national end of life care practitioners network at the end of March.

Mel said: “This is yet another milestone for the Family’s Voice diary and a sign of how highly it is regarded across the country.

“The diary empowers families to raise any issues and to record their thoughts, while also giving us important feedback about good practice and where we can improve.

“Over the last decade it has continued to develop and is now embedded in the work of the Trust.

“But, with the turnover of staff and with how quickly healthcare continues to develop, we must continue to train staff and ensure the diary is used by relatives and families.”

Last year Mel was presented with a finalist trophy at the Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards for work around the Family’s Voice. As part of the same event, it was highlighted for praise by chief nurse for England, Professor Jane Cummings.



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