Background Many hospices face the challenge of their patient demographic not representing that of their catchment (Tobin, Rogers, Winterburn, et al. BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2022; 12(2):142–151). Both real and perceived barriers to care exist. A multi-faceted approach is required to improve palliative outcomes for our communities (Hospice UK. Equality in hospice and end of life care: challenges and change. 2021), including: improving communities’ hospice literacy and understanding local unmet need (Sallnow & Paul. Crit Public Health. 2015;25(2): 231–238).
Aims To evaluate our community engagement (CE) approach and understand its impact on awareness of hospice services locally. The identification and eradication of barriers to care.
Method Two new CE employees developed a ‘CE toolkit’. Different engagement methods appeal to our diverse catchment and the groups we are underserving. The toolkit includes:
Hospice ‘Talk & Tours’ for the public.
Free workshops on advance care planning, bereavement, death literacy, hospice services.
Community stakeholder database and map detailing local services and tracking outreach.
Compassionate Neighbours project tackling loneliness and isolation. Also a tool for building links throughout the community.
An internal CE Board and Working Group consisting of cross-department staff, ensuring an organisation-wide approach.
Making hospice rooms available for free use by community/faith groups.
Our spiritual care lead is instrumental in engaging with under-represented groups and maintaining relationships with faith leaders who deliver workshops to share their beliefs and rituals at end of life.
Results This approach is ongoing. Further results will be included in the final poster presentation.
Oct. 2022 – April 2023:
30 meetings with community stakeholders.
30 trained Compassionate Neighbours.
3 Talk & Tours, welcoming 37 attendees.
4 workshops delivered to organisations.
1 Community Pride event planned.
2 creative events about grief in collaboration community groups.
1 Dying Matters Week campaign including outreach at homelessness hostel.
2 talks on death by faith leaders to palliative care staff.
Conclusion We have built new links with underserved communities, developed creative and collaborative ways of reaching people, improved death literacy, awareness of hospice services and our own awareness of our communities’ needs.
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