Background A Hospice UK report (Equality in hospice and end of life care: challenges and change. 2021) suggests that discriminatory views remain unchallenged within health and social care settings. There is a lack of training and knowledge surrounding LGBTQ+ care needs. Not addressing an individual’s holistic care needs within palliative care can be distressing and even traumatic to the LGBTQ+ community. Advance care planning (ACP) is important for the LGBTQ+ community and could be a way to relieve some of this distress (LGBT Foundation. Hidden figures: LGBT health Inequalities in the UK. 2020). It assists in making decisions about future care, ensures that important people to you are involved in the decision making, and ensures that the correct name and gender is used in death (Hospice UK. ‘I just want to be me’: Trans and gender diverse communities access to and experience of palliative and end of life care. 2023).
Aims Empower the LGBTQ+ community to have difficult conversations early to reduce potential distress.
Methods A LGBTQ+ Palliative care coordinator (PCC) worked in partnership with a LGBTQ+ charity as part of a 12-month scoping project within a borough of Greater Manchester. During this partnership, the PCC worked closely with a group of volunteers. Experiences were shared with the PCC and discussions took place on how to improve their experiences. Future planning and tools to provide insight into their identity and their lives was important to the group. From this, the ‘Box of Me’ memory and ACP box was developed together to take back control when it comes to palliative and end of life care.
Results Since launching in December 2022, three ‘Box of Me’ workshops have taken place with sixteen participants. Anonymous feedback was submitted at the end of each workshop by all participants. All feedback was positive, and participants felt that the workshop was beneficial. Due to its success, future workshops will take place.
Conclusions Reducing barriers in organisations is reliant on a culture shift, but this will take time. In the meantime, we can empower the LGBTQ+ community to work to reduce potential distress within palliative and end of life care through ACP.