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30 Bridging the gap
  1. Nipuna Gunawardena,
  2. Julia Bichard,
  3. Antke Hagena,
  4. Rosemary Stewart,
  5. Mary Johnston,
  6. Sekinat Yusuf,
  7. Carmen Lai,
  8. Louisa Stockton,
  9. Emma Mackenzie and
  10. Eliana Shekarchi-Khanghahi
  1. North Middlesex University Hospital, UK


There has been a recent drive to make palliative care more accessible to people from all communities and backgrounds with two of the core ambitions in the national framework for palliative and end of life care promoting equality and inclusivity.1 Stemming from the ideals of these ambitions an educational initiative called Bridging the Gap was established in a district general hospital in London to improve communication and decision making between medical staff and their highly diverse patient population, in the important conversations that are had in end of life care.

Through workshops and hospital experience days we introduced to various Christian and Jewish leaders in the local community, the moral and ethical considerations that doctors and other medical staff face when they make decisions for deteriorating patients who are approaching the end of their lives. Qualitative feedback indicated a significant improvement in confidence and familiarity towards these topics among these leaders and that there was scope to reach out to the wider public within these groups. Future workshops and meetings need to be conducted to establish contact with other cultural and religious leaders in the local area.

At the same time we raised awareness of certain cultural, religious and spiritual perspectives towards end of life care among medical staff by conducting a hospital wide workshop. Perspectives that were explored were the Greek, African (general and subcultural) and Muslim perspectives. Feedback suggested that the workshop was a significant success but that there was a need for other perspectives to be explored.

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