Dying matters to us - does it matter to you?

Death remains a taboo subject in our society. No one seems to want to talk about it, or knows what to do or say when someone is dying, or dies.
Woman on the telephone

North Somerset Community Partnership (NSCP) have been working with our partners to make sure residents in North Somerset can talk about death and are aware of services and choices when it comes to end of life care.

That’s why they are supporting ‘Dying Matters’ week.

The End of Life Care Strategy, published by the Department of Health in 2008, identified a number of significant issues affecting dying and death in England, that’s why we have a dedicated service at NSCP. We fully support NHS England’s commitment and vision for actions for End of Life care, 2014-2016 and hope to ensure that living and dying well is the focus of our End of Life care.

NSCP know some people do not die in the place of their choice and many do not receive the care they are entitled to because they don’t know what’s available. That’s why they have further trained our staff to understand loss and bereavement, implemented new collaborative support services and improved our care pathways for those requiring end of life care.

Working together with Commissioners, Weston Hospice Care and other key charitable organisations such as Marie Curie and St. Peter’s Hospice, they are empowering families, staff and primary care teams to work towards best practice, ensuring better care is provided for our patients. To date they have been successful in assisting 66% of patients (218 out of 333) to die at home or in the place of their choice.

Jane Haros Head of Operations for Urgent and Managed Care at NSCP said:

“It is particularly important that people can be cared for in their preferred place at the end of their life. This is why we are committed to developing the end of life Care pathway to improve bereavement care delivered by our staff.
“We have listened to our families and recognise that supporting relatives and carers at such times requires skills and expertise. Our training department works in collaboration with our teams to develop education that explores the bereavement journey. It also underpins the need to ensure that the right information is given to the right person at the right time, to enable and facilitate early conversations and realistic choices about care during this difficult time.”

Jane added: “There are lots of resources available and our specialist end of life care team at NSCP in conjunction with our partners can talk patients and their families through choices and what to expect when someone is dying.

“They aim to demystify the dying process so that people better understand the changes that can happen in the last days of life and help them make the decisions that are right for them, as well as explaining the physical changes that someone may go through when they are dying and what can be done to make them more comfortable and the kind of care a dying person can expect to receive.”

NSCP’s aim is to: Ensure that everyone who is in the last days and hours of life, and their families, receive high quality care, tailored to their needs and wishes and delivered with compassion and competence’

North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) End of Life lead commissioner Colleen Coley said: “End of life care is an important priority for North Somerset CCG and we work hard with a range of organisations and agencies to ensure both people nearing the end of their life, their carers and families are central to the decisions which are made regarding where people end their lives

“We have a contract with the cancer charity Marie Curie to provide a respite sitting service for patients and their families. We work collaboratively with the local hospices aligning our services to ensure the delivery of quality care.

“Advanced care planning is everybody’s business and we want to make it as easy as possible for people to have the conversations that are necessary in order for them to express their final wishes over where they die. The priority is to focus on what matters to patients.

“Patients today are a lot more knowledgeable thanks to the internet. They have greater access than ever before to information regarding pain control and their choices when it comes to end of life care. The services we commission support them fully and we work closely with the North Somerset Community Partnership whose end of life care team is conducting innovate and ground breaking work in this field.”

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