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P165 Engaging minority ethnic communities: an evaluation of a Marie Curie Hospice project aiming to improve access to palliative care services
  1. Jessica Baillie1,
  2. Emily Harrop1,
  3. Anthony Byrne1,2,
  4. Karen Stephens3 and
  5. Annmarie Nelson1
  1. 1Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Centre, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales
  2. 2Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff, Wales
  3. 3Marie Curie Hospice Cardiff and the Vale, Penarth, Wales

Abstract

Background There is increasing emphasis on ensuring that access to healthcare is equitable in the UK, yet on-going evidence demonstrates that minority ethnic communities are underrepresented in accessing palliative care. A Marie Curie Hospice in Wales initiated a funded outreach project with a keyworker post to engage minority ethnic communities, aiming to improve access to palliative care services.

Methods The study aim is to evaluate the outreach project and keyworker post. A longitudinal evaluation of the initiative is being undertaken, encompassing interviews with hospice and community healthcare professionals, minority ethnic communities and the project keyworker. Key project documents, such as reports, and hospice ethnicity data are also being analysed. This presentation reports on data from semi-structured interviews with hospice staff and keyworker, and analysis of project reports. Relevant ethical and governance approvals were obtained.

Results Hospice healthcare professionals highlighted challenges when providing palliative care to individuals from minority ethnic communities, particularly language barriers. Minority ethnic communities in South Wales appeared uninformed about local palliative care services and the keyworker implemented a range of initiatives to raise awareness and widen hospice referral routes. Additionally, the keyworker supported healthcare professionals when caring for people from minority ethnic communities, for example meeting religious needs at the end-of-life.

Looking ahead, hospice staff are keen to increase their understanding of different ethnic groups and cultures, while the keyworker hopes to work with community healthcare teams to improve referral rates to the hospice.

Conclusions and application The evaluation has demonstrated the progress made by the keyworker to engage minority ethnic communities and support hospice staff to holistically care for people from different ethnic groups.

The keyworker role appears, at this early stage in the project, to be an excellent way of engaging minority ethnic communities and improving access to palliative care services.

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