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Needs of the Charedi Orthodox Jewish Community in Stamford Hill for specialist palliative care
  1. Rebecca Jennings
  1. St Joseph's Hospice, London, UK

Abstract

Introduction The Charedi Community located in Stamford Hill represent the third largest concentration of strictly Orthodox Jews in the world, with a total population of over 18 000 members. To date the Charedi Community have had little involvement with Hospice. Little is known about the needs of Charedi people with advanced, progressive illness and what factors underpin their lack of uptake of specialist palliative care services.

Method A multi-dimensional Needs Assessment was undertaken, drawing upon Epidemiological, Corporate and Comparative approaches to consider the need as widely as possible. This included a number of focus groups within the Charedi community.

Results There is a small but significant need for specialist palliative care services within the Charedi community (up to 44 new patient referrals per year), with specific areas of need identified in relation to specialist nursing and medical input, therapies rehabilitation and bereavement support. These needs would be best met by the Community Palliative Care Team to fulfil the Charedi community's preference to receive care at home.

Discussion The Charedi community have a need for greater awareness of palliative care services and support available to patients with advanced disease. Charedi care providers are receptive to engage with joint working and training opportunities offered by the Hospice.

Additionally, there is a need for Hospices to better understand core Jewish values to ensure culturally sensitive and appropriate care for Jewish patients. Attention to the great value Judaism places on life, implications for provision and withdrawal of interventions and methods of conveying information to allow for maintenance of hope is needed.

Conclusion The Charedi Jewish community in Stamford Hill have an unmet need for Specialist Palliative care. The community is open to work in closer partnership with the Hospice to support Charedi patients with advanced, progressive illness.

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