Developing local partnerships and improving palliative care provision in the community

A good death at home requires integrated health and social care services to prioritise person-centredness and to nurture the workforce who support death and dying.  Scottish Care recognise that there are a number of resources to support staff care for people at the end of their lives, but through our Supporting Solace research it was identified that there is little co-ordination of these resources, and access to them varies considerably.  As a result, one of the recommendations contained in our Trees that bend in the wind report was the need to maximise the timely and effective use of palliative and end of life care at a local level and develop more joint working and learning.

This recommendation was embraced by Scottish Care’s Elaine Rae (Local Integration and Improvement Lead for Glasgow), Baillieston Community Care and the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice.  They undertook a test of change which involved care at home staff experiencing working life in the hospice, and hospice staff shadowing workers involved in PEOLC in the community.   It was hoped that the learning from this process would play a small part in developing the wider narrative of effective change and better joint working, learning and collaboration in Glasgow.

It achieved this – and more!  Activities and learning are on-going, but there continues to be a real sense that joint working is an effective way to plan and develop learning opportunities which will support staff across the workforce to transfer and integrated knowledge into observable improvements in practice.

We’re delighted to share some reflections from one of the participants in this test of change.

Thank you to the following:

David Reilly – Baillieston Community Care

Lorna Harrison – Baillieston Community Care

Gillian Sherwood – Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice

Jane Miller – Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice

Elaine Rae – Local Integration and Improvement Lead (Glasgow) and Regional Lead – Scottish Care

 

Reflections by Lorna Harrison – Baillieston Community Care

I have mixed feelings about my experience at The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice.  I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, although didn’t think it would affect me the way it had. 

After leaving the hospice on the first day I thought I could keep my emotions together until I got home but barely made it to my car.  This was upsetting for me and I can’t begin to imagine what these patients have in front of them.  So many questions were going through my mind.  There were so many emotions I had witnessed in the first day alone and I felt some of the emotions that these people were going through.  Acceptance, peace, anger, anxiety and fear. 

The two patients I sat in with on the first day were two totally different situations.  How can one person be ok with dying and the other person be so frightened and upset?  There is a lot of factors that I didn’t really think about up until now ie not wanting to be a burden to others, the fear of upsetting relatives, not wanting to face the truth and the thought of being cheated of life?

Most of all being able to talk about dying.

Jane had kindly given us the anticipatory care plan which we can now talk to our service users about.  I have been working along with my colleagues to create a new care plan of our which now incorporates some of the questions in the anticipatory care plan. 

I feel we as a provider need to get better at talking about dying.  We need to liaise more with heath care agencies and more importantly they need to liaise more with providers as we seem to be the last to know important information on how to care for people in the community who are receiving palliative care.  

We can all talk about dying;  I think it is the fact that no one likes to talk about it that is the problem.  I used to think of dying as a taboo subject but after my experience at The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice, I can talk about dying and I will talk about dying.