Little things can make a big difference

The challenge for staff and managers in future is to ensure that all patients and relatives are supported to experience at least ‘a good enough death’ on the wards, and that as many as possible may consider this to be substantially better.

Some things are difficult to change, especially if they incur costs or require additional resources, for example, ward layout, environment and staffing.

However, Susan and Angela’s accounts indicate that an extensive input of resources is not necessarily required to achieve substantial improvements in how patients and families experience care.

It is possible to make improvements, especially to the things that are revealed as being of most importance to patients and their relatives.

The study findings shed light on how simple things can make a big difference to the experience of end of life care for patients and their relatives:

The important thing is to focus on what you can do (there is always something).

D Scherer

Copyright © 2013 Deidre Scherer

Think about, and note down, the ways in which staff could provide positive support for families of patients dying on the wards.


By pressing the Delete button below you can remove your stored responses.


By pressing the Reset Data button below you can restart this activity. Importantly all stored responses will be deleted.

Reset Data