The first recipients of the Dundas medal, recognising excellence in palliative care provision in a UK hospital setting, is the Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Team at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow.
The medal which was introduced by Scottish charity PATCH (Palliation and The Caring Hospital) and The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, aims to recognise efforts to improve the provision of palliative care for patients when they are in hospital
It was launched in April 2017 and impressive submissions were received from Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. The team at the QEUH was the first to be recognised for its work in supporting patients who need palliative care.
Alistair McKeown, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, QEUH, said: “We are delighted to be awarded the Dundas Medal, and grateful to both PATCH and the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh for their recognition of our service.
“Our team helps patients and families across all wards in QEUH, not just at end of life, but also in optimising quality of life over days, weeks, months and years, irrespective of diagnosis.”
The medal was established in memory of Dr. Charles Robert (Bertie) Dundas, a consultant anaesthetist at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and a clinical senior lecturer at the University of Aberdeen for over 30 years. He died in 2014 from hepatobiliary cancer.
His family provided the legacy for this medal to acknowledge the importance of good palliative care for patients approaching the end of life, particularly in a hospital setting. The need for appropriate holistic care including pain and symptom control, as well as clear communication with patients and families, is fundamental for those with life limiting conditions and especially at the end of life. The Dundas Medal aims to raise the profile of this need and entitlement across the UK.
Sir Michael Nairn, Chairman of PATCH commented: “The awarding of the first Dundas Medal in partnership with The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is a special moment for PATCH and for the family of Dr. Dundas. He was dedicated to the care of patients throughout his whole life and we are very pleased to commemorate his passion and commitments with this award, by recognising excellence in other healthcare professionals.
“The majority of us are destined to die in hospital, and now, more than ever, there is a clear recognition of the need to provide good palliative care for patients when they are in hospital. This award highlights the importance of this care and the excellent members of staff who are delivering it. The Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Team at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital is supporting patients and their families at what is often a very difficult and distressing time. We are so grateful to them and are very pleased to be able to recognise and reward their work.”
Professor Mike Lavelle-Jones, President RCSEd commented: “We are very proud to be working with PATCH to award the first ever Dundas Medal and offer our congratulations to the Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Team at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow.
“Good palliative care covers many different areas, not least effective pain and symptom control, and effective communication with patients and families. To be able to provide respect, dignity and comfort to a patient in palliative care is an enormous gift. This award honours the work the Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Team at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow has achieved and we thank them for all the work that they do in this area.”
The next Dundas medal is currently open for applications. It will be open to any individuals or teams, medical, nursing or paramedical staff working in the UK. Submissions will close on 4th July 2018. Entry forms and criteria can be found here: https://www.rcsed.ac.uk/professional-support-development-resources/grants-jobs-and-placements/research-travel-and-award-opportunities/awards-and-medals
Notes to editors:
PATCH (Palliation And The Caring Hospital) is the first charity to specifically support 24/7 specialist palliative care for patients in Scottish hospitals. It does this by funding hospitals to provide resources such as dedicated beds, staff training, advisory services and research.
For further information on the palliative care team at the QEUH either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]
Pic: (Left to right) Mr Alistair McKeown, Consultant in Palliative medicine at QEUH, Professor Mike-Lavelle Jones (President of RCSEd) and Fiona Kerr, Specialist nurse in Palliative Care at QEUH.