By Liz Crudgington
A project aiming to bring comfort to people who will die in critical care, and their families, has been expanded to more hospitals across east Kent.
East Kent Hospitals was the first Trust in the country to pilot the 3 Wishes Project, which launched at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford a year ago and allows staff to grant ‘wishes’ to patients at the end of their life.
More than 30 patients have been able to benefit from the initiative, and it has now been rolled out to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, and the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, thanks to funding from East Kent Hospitals Charity.
Sarah Whitney, clinical nurse educator in the critical care unit at the QEQM, said: “Generous funding from our charity means we can create meaningful, long-lasting memories and personal keepsakes while allowing families to spend precious time together in a less clinical environment.
“The 3 Wishes Project will enable us to enhance the end-of-life care we deliver and to respond to family and patient wishes in a more compassionate way.”
The project was founded at a hospital in Ontario, Canada, and is now used in countries across the world.
Wishes can include creating a personalised environment with photos, lighting and music, making keepsakes for families, or encouraging connections with family, friends or pets.
Staff celebrated the roll-out of the project by showcasing some of the items that can be offered to families, and taking part in a trial run of hand-moulding, which is one of the most popular memories families request.
Dee Neligan, senior charity officer for East Kent Hospitals Charity, said: “The 3 Wishes Project has made a real difference to the experience of dozens of families at the William Harvey Hospital and we’re delighted we can now offer patients in the critical care units at the QEQM and Kent and Canterbury Hospitals the same opportunities.
“Thanks to the generous support of our communities we are able to provide a range of items to help families honour and celebrate their loved one, to make their room homelier, or to create memories and keepsakes they can treasure forever.”
Find out more about the project here: https://www.ekhcharity.