Health chiefs spell out end-of-life care priorities

Derbyshire health leaders have invited residents to an event that will explain a new approach to end-of-life care.

The session at Derbyshire County Cricket Club on Wednesday (9 July) will show how health and social care professionals will work together to deliver compassionate care which is tailored to the needs of the individual patient.

The event, running from 12.30pm to 5pm and starting with lunch, has been organised by NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for the Derbyshire Alliance for End-of-Life Care. The alliance is made up of primary and secondary care health organisations plus social care workers, hospice clinicians and the voluntary sector.

Invitations have already been sent to the area’s 56 GP practices and to care homes and community nurses.

An equivalent event has been organised by the alliance with NHS North Derbyshire CCG to run simultaneously at Chesterfield FC’s Proact Stadium.

The seminars herald the official ending of the Liverpool Care Pathway on Monday 14 July. The pathway was rolled out nationally in the early years of the 21st Century to offer procedures that would help doctors and nurses provide quality care for patients in their final days or hours of life.

But, last July, the Department of Health ruled that it should be phased out over six to 12 months amid concerns that it was resulting in the specific needs of some patients not being taken fully into account at all times.

Now, the CCGs and their partners have committed themselves to five new priorities for the care of dying people. The priorities mean that:

  • The possibility that a person may die within the coming days and hours is recognised and communicated clearly, decisions about care are made in accordance with the person’s needs and wishes, and these are reviewed and revised regularly by doctors and nurses.
  • Sensitive communication takes place between staff and the person who is dying and those important to them.
  • The dying person, and those identified as important to them, are involved in decisions about treatment and care.
  • The people important to the dying person are listened to and their needs are respected.
  • Care is tailored to the individual and delivered with compassion – with an individual care plan in place.

 At both events, the Derbyshire alliance will respond formally to the recommendations of “One Chance to Get it Right”, a paper published by the national Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People.

Steph Austin, Head of Clinical Quality for Care Homes and End of Life at NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:

“This is a really important event to attend. It is vital that the services we commission across the health community are of the highest quality and work effectively together.  We must provide high quality services for the people of Derby City and Southern Derbyshire to support them to be cared for in the last days of life in order to have a dignified death.”

Members of the public do not have to book in advance to attend the meeting at Derbyshire County Cricket Club. However, to help with catering arrangements, people are asked to email janeridley@nhs.netbeforehand if at all possible.

NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG plans and buys healthcare for 525,000 people.

Published: 08/07/2014