Overgate Hospice provides specialist palliative care, but acknowledges that many patients receiving end of life care will have some or all of their care delivered by generalist practitioners in other ’care’ settings including patients’ own homes. The recognition that care is comprised of many strands of multi-disciplinary work, strongly influenced the vision of a multi-agency network, underpinned by highly effective education and training. The potential benefits of one collaborative group were explored, clearly identified and became our driving force with one clear aim; to work cohesively to improve end of life care across the locality.
The project began with an initial expression of interest; inviting key organisations to engage with a mapping exercise; tracking a fictional patient’s journey from diagnosis of illness to end of life. This map formed the basis for network membership and has since been shared as a guide for professionals. The exercise was thought-provoking. We had found mapping the journey confusing, with many overlaps and potential gaps in the road; an experience we feared would by echoed by patients and families.
Collaboratively, we refined our aims and formalised our terms of reference.
The Network offers opportunities to:
Share best practice, new ideas and innovations
Learn from each other
Discuss and seek resolution for practical issues
Access learning opportunities.
Community specialist palliative care nurses
Care home staff
Supported living staff
Learning disability nurses
Workforce development staff
Skills for Care Locality Manager
End of life social workers
Domiciliary care workers
End of life educators
Marie Curie nurses
End of life doulas.
2016/17 has seen the exciting inauguration of the Network, where positive relationships have been formed across service boundaries. By extending our membership and the continued attendance and contribution of attendees, we have connected many services, improving the experience of patients and families in keeping with our initial aims.
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