Patients in Liverpool are benefitting from an innovative
and ground-breaking new Academic Palliative Care Unit at the Royal
Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, which
officially opens today (Thursday 16th June
The Academic Palliative Care Unit was officially opened by
Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the Care Quality Commission,
Professor Sir Mike Richards, along with The Right Worshipful, The
Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Roz Gladden.
The 12-bedded Unit aims to provide world-leading clinical and
compassionate specialist care for patients with the most complex,
high-dependency palliative and end of life care needs, and their
The Unit differs from other general and specialist wards in the
hospital, with patients and their families benefitting from expert,
research-led specialist palliative care, delivered in a specially
designed ward within the hospital.
Care is led by a team of leading specialist palliative care
consultants and nurses, in communication with patients and
families, and supported by a team of specially trained nurses and
health care assistants recruited not only for their clinical skills
but because they have demonstrated, through a special recruitment
process, the high level of compassion and emotional maturity
required to provide high quality palliative and end of life
The specialist care on the Unit enables their palliative care
treatment needs, such as pain relief, to be quickly and expertly
assessed and addressed.
The aim is that that once a patient's palliative care needs are
addressed they can be discharged to the most appropriate place of
care, in line with their needs and wishes, such as home or hospice,
with a key benefit being a reduced length of stay in hospital.
The health and wellbeing benefits of good design are well
established and the team behind the Unit wanted to bring these
benefits to patients with complex palliative and end of life care
needs, and their families, in the hospital environment.
The Unit has been refurbished with the help of renowned North
West based designers Nick and Ali Munro.
The colour scheme has been chosen for its therapeutic benefits,
furniture has been specially selected to be comfortable whilst also
being practical and hygienic in the hospital environment, and there
is specially commissioned landscape artwork from local artists.
Special attention has been paid to the non-clinical areas so
that families and friends benefit from a supportive
The usual 'nurses station' area usually found on hospital wards
has been replaced with a hotel style reception area, staffed by a
receptionist who greets and gets to know patient's and families and
supports families needs.
A welcoming 'Family and Friends Suite' is a key feature, with
comfortable seating, private space and a kitchen area where
families can make a cup of tea and snacks for themselves and
patients, where possible, and can even stay overnight when this is
This unique area within the Unit enables families to spend more
time their loved-ones, to be more involved in their care, and
provides a space where difficult conversations can be had in a more
private and relaxed environment than is usual in a hospital ward.
Visiting hours are open at all times.
The Unit is also a centre for world-leading research and service
innovation, delivered in partnership with the Marie Curie
Palliative Care Institute Liverpool at the University of
This means that patients benefit from the latest, research
based, innovative and compassionate care whilst also having
the opportunity to take part in research that improves care for the
future, leaving a legacy for the benefit of future patients as
innovations and learning are shared in the UK and globally.
A patient who was recently cared for on the Unit
"Thank you so much for your care. It is your professionalism and
dedication which is the pride of Liverpool. We are a close knit
family (Scousers) and we have a very special City.
"Once again, I cannot find the words to express your loving
Professor John Ellershaw, Professor of Palliative Medicine
and Director of the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute,
"We only get one chance to get care right for people towards the
end of their lives and this unit is a major new milestone in us
"Patients benefit from the very best in palliative and end of
life care, with their complex needs being met in one place when it
is most needed and with a shorter in patient stay.
"Getting the clinical and compassionate care we provide right is
vital but it is not the only thing we can do for patients and their
families. Making sure the design of the Unit supports health and
wellbeing for patients, families and, indeed, staff, is a major
innovation and one we are sure will be a major benefit for
Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals,
Care Quality Commission, said:
"The work here in Liverpool is a clear example of where a
combination of inspirational leadership, clinical and research
expertise commitment and compassion is a catalyst for
sustained innovation and improvement that is a testament to
the quality of an individual life.
"I look forward to hearing about the continued success of
the Academic Palliative Care Unit in Liverpool and seeing
its impact on driving forward research based innovative and
compassionate care across the health economy and beyond."
Aidan Kehoe, Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool and
Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust said:
"The Academic Palliative Care Unit is the result of the vision
and 10-years' hard work from our dedicated team and reflects the
high priority we place on Palliative and End of Life Care here at
"We have already seen over 100 patients and their families
benefit from the specialist care it provides and I am delighted
that it has now been officially opened."
Lisa Grant, Chief Nurse, Royal Liverpool and
Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust,
"This Unit and its staff don't just enhance patient treatment
and care they touch the lives of each and every individual, be it
patient or their loved one.
"You can't underestimate the power of the staff and Unit's
personal touches and the impact this has.
"This Unit will transform patient and carer experience and will
never be forgotten by those who use it."
Deborah Murphy, Palliative and End of Life Care Service
"The nursing team is playing a central role in delivering the
high level of specialist clinical and compassionate care provided
by the Unit.
"The skills mix is particularly important, led by highly
specialist palliative care nurses and team of nurses and healthcare
assistants selected for their natural compassion and emotional
maturity and then specially trained for their roles on the
"Recruiting our nursing team in this way has been a real
innovation and learning curve, but we have already seen the
benefits in the high standard of care and compassion being
delivered by our highly motivated team every day."
The Right Worshipful, The Lord Mayor of Liverpool,
Councillor Roz Gladden, said:
"I have been moved to hear the stories of patients and families
who have already benefitted from the care offered by the Unit and I
have been hugely impressed by the dedicated, committed healthcare
staff I have met, all of whom make a huge difference in the
wonderful care they provide for patients and families.
"The opening of this innovative and ground breaking Academic
Palliative Care Unit at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen
University Hospitals NHS Trust means that patients with the most
complex, high dependency palliative and end of life care needs, and
their families, are benefitting from cutting-edge clinical and
compassionate care when they most need it."
For more information contact:
Ben O'Brien on 07966 674 053 / firstname.lastname@example.org