Background England’s population is becoming increasingly diverse (Care Quality Commission. People from black and minority ethnic communities: a different ending: addressing inequalities in end of life care. 2016). Comparisons between 2011 and 2021 censuses conducted by the Office for National Statistics showed an increase in almost all ethnic minority groups and religious groups (ONS. Ethnic group, England and Wales: Census 2021). However, there is great disparity in the amount of palliative care services reaching these communities (Johnson. J Palliat Med. 2013;16(11):1329–34; Tobin, Rogers, Winterburn, et al. BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2021;12(2):142–51; Marie Curie. Improving access to palliative care services for people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds in South East Cardiff. 2014).
Aims Examining how comfortable hospice health care professionals (HCPs) are with treating a religious minority group of dying patients and exploring their confidence prior to and following a teaching session delivered on dying traditions in Christianity and Islam. Aiming to promote cultural diversity within a hospice in the South of England and the palliative services they provide.
Methods Literature review on distribution of palliative care services among ethnic minority groups. Organised a teaching session on dying traditions in Islam and Christianity for hospice HCPs and conducted a survey before and after teaching. Created an immersive cultural tradition of breaking Ramadan fast with Muslim individuals inside and outside the organisation to encourage conversations about different cultures. Establishing a forum by which we can brainstorm on ideas of how to better reach these communities.
Results 53% of hospice HCPs who took part in the survey thought palliative care services were not very good at reaching ethnic minority groups and 40% thought services were good but could be better. 53% said they felt uncomfortable caring for a dying patient that identified as Muslim before the educational talk, 40% said they were slightly comfortable and 7% said they were comfortable. After the spirituality in Islam talk, 66% said they were now very comfortable in caring for a dying Muslim patient and 34% were comfortable.
Conclusion The survey proved that the spirituality teaching was beneficial in gaining insight in how to better care for one minority group and opened our eyes to how we can expand on this to reach more minority groups.
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