Relatives who visit dying patients in Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s community hospitals – including Harborough’s St Luke’s – will be offered basic comforts to help them through their stay.
Sara Lowe, NHS patient experience and learning manager, said experience had shown relatives often stayed longer in hospital than they had initially expected when their loved ones were on the point of death.
She added: “This means they often don’t have some of the features of everyday life that they have access to at home.
“You only get one chance to get it right with end of life care, and we are committed to getting this right.”
The packs include basic toiletries such as soap, a hair brush, razor, toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as light snacks and a drink.
The packs are being trialled at LPT’s community hospitals, at Coalville, Loughborough, Market Harborough (St Luke’s), Hinckley (Hinckley and Bosworth Community Hospital), Lutterworth (Feilding Palmer), Melton Mowbray, Oakham (Rutland Memorial), and at the two medical inpatient wards at the Evington Centre in Leicester.
In addition, ward staff will have access to mobile phone chargers designed for relatives’ use.
About 200 patients a year spend their final days in LPT’s community hospitals.
Many more receive end of life care from LPT staff in their own homes.
This month is End of Life Care month at LPT, which has included a programme to raise staff awareness and encourage discussions about providing the best possible support.
Harborough’s St Luke’s Hospital is currently undergoing a £7.8 million project to transform it into an ‘integrated health hub’ which will be home to a variety of medical services.
The scheme, which was more than 20 years in the making, began late last year and is expected to be finished early next year.