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Weldmar Hospicecare

Pioneering health project in Dorset involving Weldmar shortlisted for major industry award

27th September 2022


News Team Weldmar

It may not the Oscars, the Brits, or the BAFTAs, but when it comes to recognising outstanding work in health care, the HSJ (Health Service Journal) Awards are the most esteemed in the industry.

Weldmar Hospicecare is part of a group of healthcare providers in Dorset that has been shortlisted for Integrated Care System of the Year, for their work on the pioneering Medical Examiner programme.

Dr Paul Barker (pictured above) represents Weldmar on the group, which also includes Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester, Bournemouth Hospital, NHS Dorset (formerly the CCG – Clinical Commissioning Group), and local and regional medical examiners.

Dr Barker explains more about their work: “In 2018, a new service was set up, nationally, called the Medical Examiners Service, and I was lucky enough to be part of that right at the beginning, separate to my work at Weldmar, in Dorchester and Bournemouth. This service scrutinises every death in hospitals, and now it is being rolled out into the community.

“The pilot has been taking place in Dorset, and I have represented Weldmar as part of that task group. It began in the east of the county, and then moving over to the west, where Weldmar will be the first to use it. It means that every death in the community must be scrutinised by an independent person, in collaboration with the Medical Examiner. If they have any questions or comments they will come to us directly, and then phone the relatives to explain what cause of death is going on the death certificate, and why.

“It’s a degree of scrutiny that has never been there before, and all GP surgeries will be using this service too. My role has been part of making the process work, which has been a tough piece of ambassadorial work.

“I’m quite proud as I’ve been involved in the Medical Examiners Service from the start,” says Dr Barker. “For Weldmar it’s great, as it’s been part of collaboration between all the health care providers in Dorset, we’ve had a voice and a say, shaping how it’s going to work. As an organisation, we can be really proud of that.”

The project is up against seven other shortlisted initiatives, whittled down from eight hundred nominations. Judging takes place in a two week period beginning 26th September, and the awards ceremony itself will be on Thursday 17th November.


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