A public health initiative around advance care conversations and end of life Care
The critical need for family, carer, and community conversations about end of life issues ahs never been more significant. Although most adults would prefer to live their last days at home with support, only 22% of people in Cumbria currently do. Caring for patients outside their preferred place incurs significant costs to the NHS and recently published national statistics cite 54% of NHS complaints are around end of life care. Yet as is pointed out in the national End of Life Care Strategy, “In the absence of open discussions, it is difficult or impossible to elicit peoples needs and preferences and to plan accordingly.'
The aim of this collaborative and integrated public health campaign was to support the public to break the taboo of talking about death and dying while healthy in order to consider options, access resources, and have a say in their future care (advance care planning). Increasing awareness of available options and resources was a key focus.
Project outcomes, evaluations and national endorsements will be shared. As a first step in achieving longer-term goals, the pilot showed that a community-based public awareness campaign on end of life issues can reach the public and achieve greater awareness/educational outcomes.
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