Monday, 07 July 2014

Peace Hospice Care and the Hospice of St Francis have welcomed the publication of the report from the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People (LACDP) which replaces the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway.

The LACDP report 'One Chance to Get it Right' sets out a new approach for care for the dying in England and centres on five Priorities for Care, when it is thought that a person may die within the next few days or hours.

These are focused on ensuring that individualised, compassionate communication takes place between staff and the dying person, as well as people identified as important to them. Clinicians are being encouraged to ensure they hold sensitive and detailed conversations about a patient's care, treatment options and symptom control. And medical staff are being urged to ensure that patients are offered psychological and spiritual support, if required.

Peace Hospice Care Chief Executive, Sue Plummer and Dr Ros Taylor, Hospice Director of The Hospice of St Francis and Chief Executive welcomed the new LACDP Priorities for Care and said the report would help reassure patients that they will receive the same level of compassionate, person-centred care, whether they are cared for at the end of life in a hospice, hospital, care home or their own home.

Dr Ros Taylor commented, 'Hospices have years of accrued knowledge and passion about implementing high standards of care for those at the end of life and these Priorities for Care are a step in the right direction.

'However, for this new approach to work, it is critical that there is ongoing investment and that medical and nursing staff receive comprehensive training both at the start of their careers, and throughout it, coupled with regular support and supervision. This will ensure staff are well equipped and have the confidence to hold detailed, timely, conversations with patients nearing the end of life.

Peace Hospice Care and the Hospice of St Francis, have been  helping Watford General Hospital to put some of the recommendations from the new report into practice through a Hospice Champion Educator project which started earlier this year.

The Hospice Champions initiative aims to work at grass roots ward level and promote individualised end of life care through education and mentorship on eight wards, led by Claire Nicell, the Project Educator. The 16 new Champions will share skills, knowledge and systems from hospice best practice with other ward staff to help improve the confidence to communicate and care for patients close to the end of life.

Both Hospice's are keen to see  the recommendations of the LADCP to become embedded as quickly as possible and that projects like the Watford Care Champions to be replicated across the country in all organisations dealing with end of life care to ensure that those who are in the last days of life all experience the highest quality of care when there is only 'one chance to get it right.'  

Sue Plummer concluded , 'It is vital that we have a consistent approach to caring for dying people within West Hertfordshire.  We are working collaboratively with providers and commissioners to improve the care that patients and their families receive in the last days and hours of life, within all care settings.

"We recognise the Alliance's "call to action” to service providers and The Hospice of St Francis and Peace Hospice Care will continue to support the education that is required to improve services and ensure care is of the highest standard.'