Local people share their stories to help improve end of life care

A SURVEY designed to capture local people’s views on end of life care has attracted more than 400 responses, with many people sharing personal stories that demonstrate how crucial high quality end of life services are for both patients and their families and carers.

Confident and competent staff and effective pain control topped the list of priorities among survey respondents. Being involved in planning your own care, being able to choose where to die and access to support for patients and carers were also considered to be very important.

The personal stories shared by survey respondents reinforce the crucial importance that high quality end of life care has both at the time of need and for the patient’s family in the days, weeks and months that follow – as expressed by one respondent, “End of life care is very underrated by people who have not had the need to use it for themselves or others. It is extremely important and can make such a difference to not only the patient, but also their family.”

NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG and NHS Thurrock CCG are working closely with the two main community service providers in the area, Saint Francis Hospice and St Luke’s Hospice to make sure the services on offer meet the needs and expectations expressed in the survey and through the experiences that people are continuing to share with us.

Tom Abell, Chief Officer, Basildon and Brentwood CCG said, “Many people have told us that community end of life services such as those provided by our two local hospices Saint Francis and St Luke’s made an enormous difference at a most difficult time – providing high quality clinical care but also the emotional support that is so desperately needed. Others have shared less positive stories where the care and support they needed wasn’t there for them and which clearly highlight where we need to make changes.

“The CCGs and the local hospices together with other end of life care providers are working closely to make sure that excellent end of life care is available to all at the time of need and that everyone living in south west Essex can expect to receive the same high quality service.”

A new model for end of life care ensuring consistently high standards for patients in south west Essex from 2015 is currently being developed by both CCGs in partnership with St Luke’s Hospice and Saint Francis Hospice.

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