Tag Archives: Dundas medal

Dying Matters Awareness Week

This week is Dying Matters Awareness week, running from 11th to the 17th of May. This year's theme is "Dying to be Heard".

In the middle of the coronavirus crisis, we attach this letter from the winners of the Dundas Medal 2019 – Jules Lewis [and her team] working at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital, England.

I think as a nurse, what sits uncomfortably with me, is not being able to offer the full swan scheme resources to the dying person and family. The Swan scheme is our end of life and bereavement care programme.[1] It includes our lovely memory boxes with contents, swan chairs, mood lights and CD player. We cannot offer any of these to our patients or their families during Covid19, as these items would not cope with professional healthcare cleaning requirements.

Things we have been able to do are: Taste for Pleasure[2] [and locks of hair – we put the lock of hair into a sealed bag with instructions not to open for seven days. I have worn a photo of myself on my PPE to show people what I look like normally – the person behind the mask; the hearts of kindness[3] and virtual visits using iPads and iPhones to keep family informed. We have allowed visitors to be with patients who are dying, as long as they wear PPE. ITU has been more challenging due to aerosol procedures, so virtual visits have been helpful.

I have been doing a lot of staff support debriefings, which have been really helpful. I am sure we will need to continue this as we are dealing with many more deaths. Staff not only have these worries at work but also have worries at home with children being off school, other family members off work, and not being able to see family and friends.

Staff support is paramount for us now and in the future.

We are trying so hard to sit with patients if their family are unable to visit – as our volunteers are not able to support us at this time. No one should die alone

Jules Lewis
End of Life Care Facilitator / Lead Nurse

Further information

References and Footnotes

  1. Jules Lewis, Jules Lock, Roy Lilley (Spring 2020). Bereavement Management in a Time of Crisis, booklet containing advice, ideas, questions for discussion and guidance on end-of-life care.
  2. Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust Wins National Award | The Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, article published 11 Feb 2020.
  3. Knitted kindness hearts to be gifted to patients and their families | The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital, article published

Dundas medal awarded to multi-disciplinary team from The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

The award was presented for the team's innovative `Taste for Pleasure` scheme, which allows staff to use a patient's favourite flavours when receiving end of life care.

From left, Professor Michael Griffin OBE, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh; Claire Saxby, SaTH; Jules Lock, SaTH; Jules Lewis, SaTH.

The award was received by Jules Lock, Jules Lewis and Claire Saxby from The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH). It was presented by Professor Michael Griffin, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Kate Forster, director of PATCH, said:

The Shrewsbury and Telford application resonated with me hugely. On a personal level this is something I would have changed if I could for my mum. Watching her eat and drink nothing was awful. The Shrewsbury team showed innovation, humanity and constant care right to the very end – and that is what PATCH is about.

Further reading

Dundas Medal applications open for 2019

The next Dundas medal is currently open for applications. It is open to any individuals or teams, medical, nursing or paramedical staff working in the UK. Submissions will close on 26th June 2019.

Hospital hallway in a large metropolitan hospital.

The medal which was introduced by PATCH 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.

Previous winners

  • The Specialist Palliative Care Team and Cardiothoracic Transplant Services at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
  • The Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Team at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow.

Further information

Newcastle Hospitals Palliative Care and Transplant Teams Scoop National Award

The Dundas Medal has been awarded to the Specialist Palliative Care Team and Cardiothoracic Transplant Services at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

L-R - Dr Maria McKenna, the new President of RCSEd, Professor Michael Griffin OBE and Professor Stephen Clark.

News release – 10 November 2018 – A team specialising in palliative care for heart and lung transplant patients at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital has won a national award.

The Dundas Medal is awarded by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and PATCH to reflect work done to improve the provision of palliative care for patients in hospital.

Dr Maria McKenna and Professor Stephen Clark, representing the Freeman Hospital team, were presented with the national award at The Royal College in Edinburgh by President Michael Lavelle-Jones during the College Diploma Ceremony on Friday 9 November.

Professor Mike Lavelle-Jones, President RCSEd said:

We are very proud to continue working with PATCH to award the Dundas Medal for the second year running and offer our congratulations to the deserving team specialising in palliative care for heart and lung transplant patients at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

Professor Lavelle-Jones continued,

As numbers on the UK heart or lung transplant waiting list reaches the highest point of the decade, there is a growing impact of the quality of care on offer to these patients.  Being able to provide physical and emotional support to patients in palliative care is crucial towards generating a positive impact of the quality of life for these patients and their families. Whilst administering effective pain and symptom control might be at the forefront, good palliative care covers all areas of this support.  It is a privilege to be able to provide respect, dignity and comfort to a patient and treat their palliative care on a case-to-case basis.   This award honours the work the Hospital Specialist Palliative Care Team at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital has achieved and we thank them for all the efforts made in this area.

The Dundas 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.

The work undertaken by the award-winning team at the Freeman is setting an example to surgical and palliative specialists all over the world. Cardiopulmonary transplantation is a life prolonging treatment appropriate for patients with end stage cardiac or respiratory failure. The example of palliative medicine and surgical consultants working together has the potential to greatly improve the outcomes for transplant patients.

In 2016-17, 332 adults received a cardiopulmonary transplant in the United Kingdom including 165 heart and 167 lung transplants.

However, the waiting list greatly exceeds the number of transplants that can be performed, due to the shortage of donor organs, and so many patients benefit from palliative care whilst waiting for a suitable donor or if their condition deteriorates.

The number of adult patients on the UK heart or lung transplant waiting list in 2017 was the highest at any point this decade at 587. Around one third of those listed will die before a transplant can take place, as no suitable donor can be identified in time.

Over the last year, 22 adult heart transplants, three heart and lung transplants and 43 adult lung transplants were undertaken at the Freeman Hospital. During this period, there were an additional 91 adults on the heart transplant waiting list and 133 adults remained on the lung transplant waiting list.

Palliative care aims to maximise the quality of life of a patient with a life-threatening condition and their family, through careful symptom assessment and attention to holistic care. It is well established as a service, working alongside curative or disease modifying treatments, especially in the cancer setting.

This award reflects the innovative work undertaken jointly by the Freeman Specialist Palliative Care and Cardiothoracic Transplant Services to improve the quality of care for this unique and complex group.

Dr Maria McKenna, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, said:

We feel strongly that our collaborative approach to the improvement of palliative care for patients within the heart and lung transplant journey has already made a significant positive impact on a large number of patients and their families.

Professor Stephen Clark, Consultant Cardiothoracic and Transplant Surgeon, added:

Winning the Dundas Medal reflects incredibly well on our innovative end of life and cardiothoracic transplant surgical services. We are very proud of what we have achieved through our close partnership to benefit the patients waiting for heart or lung transplants in Newcastle.

Dr Pam Levack, Medical Director of PATCH said:

This is such an innovative approach to palliative care in a hospital setting. We are delighted to award the Dundas Medal to Dr McKenna and Professor Clark, whose work has the potential to change approaches to care while awaiting and following transplant surgery. Our best congratulations to the team, and we will continue to watch with extreme interest how this develops.

First Dundas medal awarded to specialist palliative care team in Glasgow

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and charity PATCH award inaugural medal to team acknowledging palliative care excellence

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.

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.

News release – 15 February 2018 – 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 PATCH 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.

Dundas medal launched to commemorate Aberdeen consultant

Scottish charity PATCH and Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and collaborate to recognise those delivering best palliative care.

News release – 25 April 2017 – A new medal has been introduced by Scottish charity PATCH (Palliation And The Caring Hospital) and The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh to recognise efforts to improve the provision of palliative care for patients when they are in hospital. The Dundas medal commemorates a former Aberdeen anaesthetist who died in 2014 from hepatobiliary cancer.

The family of Dr Dundas 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 pain and symptom control, as well as clear communication with patients and families, is fundamental for those at the end of life.  The Dundas Medal aims to raise the profile of this need right across the UK.

The Dundas medal will be open to any individuals or teams, medical, nursing or paramedical working in the UK. The applicants or the applying teams are invited to submit an example from their own clinical experience detailing how they have made a difference to the provision of palliative care in their own hospital setting.

Dr Charles Robert (Bertie) Dundas was a consultant anaesthetist in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and a senior clinical lecturer at the Foresterhill campus of Aberdeen University for over 30 years. He also served in the Gulf War as a consultant anaesthetist in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Sir Michael Nairn, Chairman of PATCH commented:

We are delighted to announce the inauguration of the Dundas Medal in partnership with The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Dr Dundas was dedicated to the medical profession his whole life and we are privileged to be able to recognise his commitments with this new award.

The importance of palliative care in the hospital setting is something that he was very aware of, and his family wishes to encourage and recognise far greater availability of this, in his memory.

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 is being provided by members of the hospital staff right across the UK and we want to recognise and congratulate these teams or individuals with this new award.

Mr Mike Lavelle-Jones, President RCSEd commented:

I am delighted to launch the Dundas Medal as one of our initiatives with our new partners at PATCH.  This award recognises the dedication and commitment of all those involved in the advancement and delivery of palliative care highlighting the contributions not only of medical individuals or teams but also the valuable work undertaken by nursing and paramedical staff.

Further information

For more information or guidance about the Dundas medal, see Awards and medals – The Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh