RCN Foundation Winter News 2017 

End of life CARE project 

The RCN Foundation is working in partnership with UCL Partners and Macmillan Cancer Care on a quality improvement project to test and learn about the implementation and use of the ReSPECT process in three care homes, an acute hospital site, aligned primary care practices and the ambulance service. The project will take place across various parts of London.

ReSPECT (Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment) is a new national process that creates personalised recommendations for a person’s clinical care in a future emergency in which they are unable to make or express choices. The project will also test the use of educational materials on the ReSPECT process including a web based app and face to face training. The web app was launched earlier this year at the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo and is available free from http://respectprocess.org.uk/learning.

End of Life Care (EOLC) has been the subject of increasing focus throughout the NHS following the Neuberger Review in 2012. High quality care of patients who are at risk of acute deterioration requires compassionate, competent communication and shared decision-making to establish the patients’ preferences and wishes, and to discuss the type of care that will be provided should they deteriorate. 

Currently, there is no unified process for EOLC in London which is valid across different care settings e.g. acute and primary care, hospices and care homes. This results in differing decisions, repeated and sometimes difficult conversations that are complex and time intensive, care that is contrary to previous decisions or the wishes of the individual, and potential confusion and distress for the individual and those important to them. 

This project will therefore test the effectiveness of the ReSPECT process and associated educational materials in London. Expected outcomes include: increased knowledge and confidence amongst nurses around emergency care and treatment planning; empowering and supporting nurses to engage in joint decision-making conversations with patients and their families to ensure their wishes are met in emergency situations; and an increase in patient and relatives’ involvement and satisfaction with emergency care and treatment planning.

We will provide further details about the project as it develops, but for more details please contact Katie Slater, the Foundation’s Grants Manager. 


Help us support Nurses this Christmas 

Christmas is a busy and joyful time of year, a time for celebrating with family and friends. But for some, Christmas is often a time of loneliness and despair, with many people feeling that they have nowhere to turn. For those who have spent a lifetime caring for others, facing Christmas can be a real challenge, particularly when money is tight.

The RCN Foundation provides advice and financial help to members of the nursing team – nurses, midwives and health care assistants – who are struggling because of illness, disability, domestic violence or simply being unable to make ends meet. Through our Lamplight Support Service, we are here to support those who care for us, providing a welcome safety net when things go wrong. Since 2010, the number of individuals receiving a grant has doubled, highlighting the increasing pressure that nursing is facing. Ann and John are just two examples of the many hundreds of people we help each year.

Ann has been a nurse her entire life. At the age of 49 she was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, a spinal injury and neurological illness. It was a downward spiral of loneliness and desperate lack of earnings, leading to emotional turmoil and depression. She had not turned the heating on for two winters and went many days without meals. The Lamplight Support Service offered Ann a grant to get her thermal blackout curtains and blinds ahead of the winter. They also provided her with carpets to keep the warmth in and had a cupboard built under the stairs to house her wheelchair. Ann says “My life has changed with the help I received and I will be eternally grateful for the support they gave me.”

A week before Christmas, former nurse John (not his real name) contacted the Lamplight Support Service to tell them that he had been evicted and was sleeping rough. Within the space of a few hours the service had secured accommodation for John that enable him to have somewhere safe, dry and warm to sleep over the Christmas period and well into the New Year. The cost of this lifeline for John was just £600 but the positive physical and emotional impact on John was immense. Since then, the Lamplight Support Service has been working with John and local organisations to find a more permanent solution to his housing problems.   

The Lamplight Support Service provides a lifeline to nursing professionals during times of adversity. A donation this Christmas, no matter how small, can make a huge difference to the lives of nurses, midwives and health care assistants who are struggling to cope. As well as helping now, your donation will also help to get those in need on the path to a more stable future. In 2017, 63% of those we helped said that a grant would help to increase their independence and 54% said that it would help them to get back to work.

So this Christmas, please help us to make sure that the Lamplight Support Service can carry on supporting those who need us by making a donation to the RCN Foundation. Those who care for us should not have to face adversity alone – please help us to help them.

Comedy night with Harry Hill in aid of the Foundation 

Following the incredibly successful podcast recording here at RCN HQ in July, the fantastic team at the Guilty Feminist http://guiltyfeminist.com/  have kindly organized a brilliant new event in aid of the RCN Foundation.  This time it is a full on fantastic Comedy Show. 

The show will feature a host of well-known names from the worlds of comedy and entertainment including Harry Hill (You've Been Framed) Aisling Bea (Live at the Apollo and team captain on 8 out of 10 Cats!), Deborah Francis-White (host of the Guilty Feminist podcast), and Angela Barnes (Mock the Week and News Quiz regular and host of BBC radio’s Newsjack). Hosts for the night will be Lou Sanders and Jessica Fostekew.

The event takes place on Wednesday 6 December, from 7.30pm to 10.30pm at Up the Creek, 302 Creek Road, Greenwich, London, SE10 9SW. 

Tickets cost £10 and are selling fast, so don't miss out! You can buy them here: http://www.up-the-creek.com/events/nhs-nurses-fundraiser/  with all profits going to the RCN Foundation. It promises to be a great night and we hope to see as many of you there as possible.