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The healthcare professionals at St Barnabas House are heavily involved in end of life care strategy and programmes, providing comfort to individuals and their families.
St Barnabas House is actively involved in improving end of life care in all settings and is working closely with Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to support the implementation of the Department of Health End of Life Care Strategy 2008. Below we have outlined the important national initiatives with links to further information.
The National End of Life Care Programme works with health and social care services across all sectors in England to improve end of life care for adults by implementing the Department of Health’s End of Life Care Strategy. For further information, please visit End of Life Care for Adults.
All of the following initiatives are described as good practice within the End of Life Care Strategy and are key recommendations of best practice in the NICE guidelines for supportive and palliative care (2004).
The Gold Standards Framework (GSF) is a systematic evidence based approach to optimising the care for patients nearing the end of life. It is concerned with helping people to live well until the end of life and includes care in the final years of life for people with any life limiting disease or terminal illness, in any care setting. The GSF originated in Primary Care but has now been developed for use in care homes and most recently acute hospitals. The majority of GP practices in our catchment area are signed up to the GSF process and our Clinical Nurse Specialists regularly attend GSF meetings. For further information, please visit Gold Standards Framework.
The hospice is working towards raising increased awareness and training to assist patients in creating Advance Care Plans (ACP). The PPC document is a tool for discussion and recording end of life wishes, and is an example of an advance care plan. Advance care planning discussions are important conversations that explore the wishes of patients and their carers, and are key to improving care at the end of life. For further information, please visit End of Life Care for Adults
St Barnabas House supports the endorsement of the principles of palliative care by the Independent Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway and its strong recommendation that there be further investment in palliative care clinical services, as well as better education for all clinicians whose patients may need end of life care.
We continue to work alongside a number of private care homes and NHS staff in providing teaching of proven effectiveness for staff looking after people in their last hours or days of life. The flexible, personalised end of life care plans called for by the Review are an established part of our practice and we have been working with providers in other settings such as care homes to make this approach more widely available.
St Barnabas will continue to maintain a position to ensure that the principles of good palliative care are applied not only for our own patients in the hospice and at home but, through education and training, for dying people across our whole area.