NHSCT Palliative Care Service Improvement Team
The NHSCT Palliative Care Service Improvement Team have held numerous PPI involvement events and continued work in this area during the past year. Several of these are outlined below:
- Dying Matters Event was held in May 2022. This is an annual event to encourage the normalisation of death and dying conversations with the public. The evaluation of this event showed that, two thirds of those in attendance felt they would have further conversations with friends and family.
- ‘Comfort when you need it most’ - the palliative care service improvement team have been working in collaboration with members of the public to continue to provide ‘Comfort Packs’ to support anyone who may be very ill or dying in hospital and who are unable to access toiletries. Over 100 packs are given out per month to acute and community hospitals.
- Palliative Care Week service user story - The All Ireland Institute of Hospices and Palliative Care created a range of videos for Palliative Care Week. These are shared during this week but are also available on their website for awareness raising and training events. Alison Craig was filmed telling the story of a young Macmillan Unit patient whose goal was have peace of mind at end of life by getting a tattoo of her child close to her heart. https://youtu.be/YUmgwnCUb4o?list=PLd_maP4B2N3Gx4-QpBvCNYckqJ8CsQ1uo
- Macmillan Carol Service -The Macmillan Unit annual carol service was held virtually this year, hosted on social media. Patients and relatives contributed to the development of the programme and also engaged in the recording. This reached a wide audience throughout the Trust and the feedback was very positive.
- Palliative, end of life & bereavement services booklet - The Trust Palliative, end of life & bereavement services booklet was revised during 2021. A small group of staff alongside two service users refreshed the content of this, engaging with external stakeholders to ensure the content was accurate and reflective of the patient with palliative care needs and their family are met.
- Advance Care Planning event - Seamus Heaney HomePlace - The first ever Advance Care Planning week was held from 4th – 8th April 2022. The Northern Trust palliative care service improvement team hosted an event in the Seamus Heaney HomePlace on Tuesday 5th April 2022 at 7pm. This event was promoted via various platforms and 68 people registered to come along and engage in the short sketch ‘Sure I’m only 76’, written for the team, by local author Emma Heatherington. A panel of experts included a service user, Heather Lennox, who talked about her profound personal experience of loss and bereavement and how it’s so important to plan ahead, ensuring you leave a positive legacy for your loved ones.
- Health and wellbeing - Virtual Health and Well-Being events are regularly provided for people living with a variety of cancers. Several service users with advanced cancers advised the Pall Care Service Improvement Team that these are generally aimed at people with curative cancers. They felt they did not fully meet their needs, as they continue to live with their illness. The SIT and the Palliative Care MDT are developing resources are tailored for this group. They have a service user focus group and a local support group who are now helping us shape the content and delivery of these resources.