To make sure every person and their family gets the death they would like, a Greater Manchester vision for end of life care has been developed that emphasises choice, including place of care and death, and focuses on people‘s invididual preferences as well as aiming to make people more comfortable talking about death, dying and bereavement.
The aim is to make Greater Manchester a place where everyone at the end of their life receives the right care, in the right place and at the right time for them; 50% of deaths in the region are in a hospital setting although most people indicate this would not be their preferred place.
Work has begun to improve services across the region with examples of work including an advance care planning and communication skills training programme, a Greater Manchester Hospice group working together to explore the value hospices can offer and the development of Electronic Palliative Care Coordination Systems which record and share people’s preferences for their end of life care.
In Wigan and Salford, Macmillan is funding an enhanced, seven-day, consultant-led, or nurse-led, specialist palliative support and care service. It’s for individuals with complex or significant physical and emotional care needs living with potential life limiting illnesses. The service is being delivered through Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, Wigan & Leigh Hospice and St Ann’s Hospice, and the community.
The new service will include 24/7 telephone specialist advice, better access to face-to-face specialist palliative care on weekends and bank holidays as well as more specialist staff available throughout the week. The ambition is that through evaluation of models of excellence the Salford and Wigan service could be adopted across Greater Manchester and East Cheshire.
Speaking about the plans Dr Richard Preece, Medical Director and Executive Lead for Quality at the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “We only have one chance to get end of life care right for every person and family that needs it. By starting conversations about death and dying earlier on people’s journeys we can better understand what this important life event means to each individual and can support them to have a good death.
“Person centred care that reflects people’s choices, and provides specialist support when needed, can make a huge difference to people’s experience at the end of their life. We can achieve this by working more closely together, tailoring end of life and bereavement services to each local area and making the most of new digital technology.”
Supporting standards and an implementation plan will now be developed, working with all ten localities across Greater Manchester, to develop a consistent comprehensive approach that builds on existing work and best practice.