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P-196 Finding the words
  1. Karen Groves and
  2. Claire Finnegan
  1. Queenscourt Hospice, Southport, UK

Abstract

There is a clear need for precise and unambiguous communication which avoids the use ofeuphemisms when talking to people who are thought likely to be dying and their ´families´. Thedistress caused by poor communication was highlighted in the Neuberger Review ´More care, lesspathway´ 2013, a government review into care of dying people in England, and the need for good,clear communication outlined in the new Priorities for Care included in the LACDP ´One Chance toget it Right´ response 2014.

Aims To enable all clinical and non clinical staff, working in community, hospital and care homes in a wellcircumscribed area of the north of England, who encounter dying patients and their families, to feelthey are able to talk about death and dying openly and confidently with those in their care.

Method During 2013 we compiled a list of commonly used words and phrases which could be mis-construed when talking to or about dying patients and constructed a list of useful alternatives. These has been included in care of the dying training to more than 1600 individuals and printed on posters and business cards to be used as a handy reference in the workplace across care settings.

In addition "examples" of individual plans for care for those thought likely to be dying, have beencirculated to clinical areas to support staff when documenting the conversations they are having.

Results The language used by and between professionals is changing across our organisation as evidencedthrough communications with staff who constantly remind each other and this has been recognised atthe highest levels of the organisation. Even non clinical staff are careful to use correct terminologyat meetings. Audits of conversations documented show that clinical staff are documenting appropriate conversations.

Conclusion Raising awareness of the importance of clear communication has also raised awareness of death and dying in the Trust.

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