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St James’s Hospital End of Life Care Programme


Every year approximately 800 patients will die in St. James’s Hospital.


Some patients die after long battles with illness, some only a short time before their death and others die very suddenly.


No matter how patients arrive at this final stage of their lives, staff at St. James’s Hospital recognise the profundity of a person’s last days in life as well as the impact it has on the people they leave behind.


Our medical and support staff are aware that they only have one chance to get it right when it comes to providing comfort and care to relieve pain and distress for people who are dying and to support their families and friends.


To that end St James’s Hospital is part of a national network of Hospice Friendly Hospitals with the aim to constantly improve the end of life care for our patients and their loved ones.


In practice, this means maintaining and improving end of life care standards, investing in the physical environment for patients and their families, continuous staff education and providing the very best bereavement support.


Examples of the St James’s Hospital End of Life Care Programme initiatives are:


  • Creating better surroundings for patients and their families including family rooms and single rooms for patients.
  • Overnight facilities for relatives and friends to be able to stay with their loved one.
  • Introducing advance care planning for patients wishing to express their preferences for care at end of life.
  • Bereavement Leaflets ‘When someone close dies- what happens next?’
  • Sympathy cards written by hospital staff to the bereaved relatives.
  • Training and education for all staff to become more competent and compassionate when caring for patients who are at the end of their lives.
  • Tools to improve communication around end of life care.
  • Implementation of hospital wide end of life care standards.
  • Renovations in the mortuary to provide a better environment for bereaved relatives.
  • Asking bereaved relatives for feedback on their experience of end of life care (Bereaved relatives’ survey).

If you would like to support the End of Life Care Programme at St James’s Hospital, please contact Jamie on 01 410 3936 or email Jamie@supportstjames.ie