If you had 1,000 days left to live, how many would you choose to spend in hospital?

That was the question posed by healthcare innovator Professor Brian Dolan during a day of inspirational talks and interactive sessions with staff at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (RFL).

Brian is founder of the #Last1000days campaign designed to help hospital staff think about what they can do to get patients back to a home environment as quickly and safely as possible.

With a background in emergency and mental health nursing, Brian shared his belief with RFL staff that giving patients back their time is one of the most valuable things they can do.

He said: “A significant proportion of people who get stuck in the health care system are in the last 1,000 days of their life, so they are the very people who do not have time to waste. A patient’s time is sacred and that’s why I’m delighted that staff at the Royal Free London are working hard to better prioritise patients’ time.”

Brian has developed tools which help hospitals improve the speed at which patients move through the system. The #Last1000days campaign says that despite the hard work of caring staff, patients – particularly older people – get ‘stuck’ in hospitals which led him to ask: ‘if you had 1000 days left, how many would you choose to spend in hospital?’

He added: “Staff at the RFL are clearly passionate about giving the best care possible to their community. They appreciate how much support managers give them to try new things to make it better for patients and are proud of being part of a great organisation.”

During the day, Professor Dolan endorsed the RFL’s ‘safer, faster, better’ programme, which aims to help patients get up, dressed and out of hospital as soon as possible.

One of the ways the RFL is doing this is by encouraging patients to ask four key questions:

“What is wrong with me?”
“What is going to happen to me”
“What needs to enable me to go home?”
“When can I go home?”

Deborah Sanders, Royal Free London group chief nurse, said: “It is vital to their recovery for patients to get up and moving as soon as possible and Brian’s visit has really motivated and encouraged our staff to think about why a patient is still in bed.”


Notes to editors

About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free began as a pioneering organisation and continues to play a leading role in the care of patients. Our mission is to provide world class expertise and local care. In the 21st century, the Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare.

The Royal Free London attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver and kidney transplantation, haemophilia, renal care, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, Parkinson's disease, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.

In July 2014 Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital became part of the Royal Free London. Read 'A bigger trust, a better future'.