Friday, October 7, 2022

Time to talk about dying say Thurrock health bosses

NHS Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) wants everyone to start talking about dying! Not a statement you would expect from the local NHS, but as part of Dying Matters Week (between 18 -24 May), the CCG is supporting two local initiatives to help ensure that we can all get the care and support we want, where we want it, at the end of our lives.

Jane Foster-Taylor, NHS Thurrock CCG’s Chief Nurse, said: “End of life care is very high on the national health agenda. A recent report Actions on End of Life Care 2014- 16, set out a national blueprint for what end of life care should look like. Crucially, the report highlighted the inequalities experienced by some groups in society when it comes to consistent, high quality end of life care.”

The data in the report resonated with the CCG as many of the groups identified as not receiving good end of life care are those already on their radar as being vulnerable. One such group, people with learning disabilities are less likely to have access to specialist palliative care services, receive inadequate pain control in their final illness and are more likely to have their deaths described as not being planned for, uncoordinated and poorly managed. People suffering with dementia may also receive poor quality care towards the end of life. Other groups highlighted include the homeless and black and minority ethnic groups.

To coincide with Dying Matters Week, and in response to the findings of the report, the CCG is pleased to support our partner North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) who have organised, an Advanced Care Planning surgery event to capture the end of life care needs of the groups listed as being vulnerable in the report. The surgery will take place on 20th May at Harty Close Community Hall in Stifford Clays between 6pm – 8pm, as well as a drop in event for anyone who wishes to talk about end of life care issues on 18th May at Stifford Clays Health Centre between 2-4 pm.

Jane said: “We are encouraging people to take the opportunity to come along to these sessions and help to shape end of life care services for these groups. Many people still feel uncomfortable talking about end of life issues. We are urging Thurrock residents, particularly those identified in the report to come along to the surgery to ensure their needs are captured when we develop the service.”

Also during Dying Matters Week, the CCG is excited to be supporting the launch of a new DVD which aims to raise public awareness about the importance of planning and discussing our wishes in end of life care. The DVD, produced by the South West Essex VERVE (Valuing local diversity, Enhancing patient experience, Raising public awareness, Visible equity in End of Life Care) group and hosted by St Luke’s Hospice, will be screened to a small audience on 20 May.

The CCG commissions St Luke’s to provide its One Response End of Life service across Thurrock and we hope that the DVD will go a long way to improving end of life services across Thurrock. For more information about the DVD please contact Sharon Quinn on 01268 524973 or Penny Meadows on 01375 648170.


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