The 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 (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."
Many groups that are not receiving good end of life care are those already vulnerable. One such group, people with learning disabilities, are less likely to have access to specialist palliative care and are more likely to receive inadequate pain control and have their deaths described as poorly managed. People suffering with dementia, the homeless and black and minority ethnic groups have also been highlighted for receiving poor-quality care towards the end of life.
To coincide with Dying Matters Week, the CCG is pleased to support a care planning event with our partners, North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT). The Advanced Care Planning surgery event has been organised to capture the end of life care needs of groups listed as vulnerable in the report. The surgery will take place on 20 May at Harty Close Community Hall in Stifford Clays between 6pm – 8pm.
Jane said: "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."
The CCG is also excited to be supporting the launch of a new end of life care DVD. The aim of the DVD is to raise public awareness about the importance of planning and discussing their wishes for end of life care. Produced by the South West Essex VERVE group and hosted by St Luke's Hospice, the DVD will be launched on the 20 May.
The CCG commissions St Luke's to provide its One Response End of Life service, and we hope that the DVD will go a long way to improving end of life services across Thurrock.