Background Death and dying continues to be a taboo subject in our society. We tend not to plan for our own death or know how to discuss topics of death and dying with our nearest and dearest (Peacock, 2014). With an ageing demographic in the Highlands of Scotland, along with our geographical challenges for care delivery, developing compassionate communities is crucial if we want to meet the needs of those who will be facing their own death, or the death of a relative (NHS Highland, 2017). ‘Last Aid’, a public education programme developed in Denmark, aims to inform and build confidence to support the care of those affected by life-shortening illness within their communities, either in the workplace or at home.
Aim To pilot an English language version of the Last Aid course and evaluate how this European course would be received by people living in Highland.
Methods Twelve individuals from the staff and volunteers of the Highland Hospice (four of which were clinical staff members) took part in a trainer’s course, delivered by Dr Georg Bollig, a Consultant in Palliative Care in Denmark and the originator of Last Aid. The training format was identical to that used in Denmark and six other European countries actively delivering Last Aid Courses. After completion of training, five differing community groups were identified to pilot Last Aid courses. These included a public body organisation, a Christian community group, the general public (two open access courses were delivered) and a charity sector group. The participants each gave feedback at the end of the individual courses, employing a format identical to that used in other European courses.
This presentation will explore the impact of the piloted sessions and the ongoing work undertaken by the hospice in relation to building more robust compassionate communities.
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