Palliative Care and End of Life

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Palliative Care and End of Life Care in Dudley

Welcome to the Dudley Group of Hospitals Palliative Care and End of Life webpages.

Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust is committed to maintaining the best quality of life for its patients who are experiencing life-limiting conditions.

The vision for Dudley

All people with palliative and end of life care needs, irrespective of their diagnosis, together with those closest to them, are able to express their needs and wishes; and that as far as clinically appropriate and practically possible, these needs and wishes are met.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is the active holistic care of patients with advanced progressive illness.

The management of pain and other symptoms and provision of psychological, social and spiritual support is paramount.

The goal of palliative care is achievement of the best quality of life for patients and those important to them.

Palliative Care in Dudley

High quality Palliative Care should be delivered by all health care professionals. The aim is that all staff caring for people with life limiting illness whether in hospital, at home, or in a care home, should be able to provide a ‘core level’ of care i.e. they should be able to provide less complex care well.

When the usual care team needs support or advice on more complex symptoms for a particular patient, then that patient can be referred to the Specialist Palliative Care Team – who provide what is called ‘Specialist level’ advice on the management of pain, or other symptoms whether physical, psychological, social or spiritual.

Dudley Palliative Care Strategy

There is a strategy for palliative care in Dudley. It is one, unified strategy for all health care providers across Dudley.

Click here to see the ‘Strategy on a page’

Some of the ways that the strategy is being implemented include:

  • Implementation of the Gold Standards Framework (see below for more information about this)
  • Working to implement the ReSPECT tool. ReSPECT is a process that creates personalised recommendations for a person’s clinical care in a future emergency in which they are unable to make or express choices. Click here for more information about ReSPECT
  • Providing palliative care education to ensure a high level of provision of palliative care right across the economy (hospital, community and care homes).

Gold Standards Framework at Russells Hall Hospital

Russells Hall Hospital is implementing the ‘Gold Standards Framework’ (GSF). The aim of the GSF is to provide ‘The right care for the right patient in the right place at the right time’

The GSF is a systematic, evidence based approach to optimise care for all patients approaching the end of life, delivered by all care staff actually seeing patients with life limiting illness.

For more information on the GSF, click here to watch a brief video about it!

Gold Standards Framework in Acute Hospitals in a nutshell

Palliative Care Champions

In the community, and in the hospital, there are ‘Palliative Care Champions’. These are nurses who have taken on additional competencies for palliative care. They have an interest and focus on caring for palliative care patients alongside their usual role. They link with their hospital or community or care home teams to help promote high quality practice, advocate for palliative care patients, and to cascade education out to colleagues.

 

The role of the Specialist Palliative Care Team (SPCT)

The SPCT offers expert holistic assessment of patients and those important to them. They then give advice, treatment and support on a range of symptoms and conditions.

The SPCT works collaboratively with other health and social care professionals to ensure that there is excellent holistic care. They do not ‘take over’ the care of patients, but rather provide care alongside the usual care teams.

Palliative Care Education

The SPCT provides support through delivery of education in Dudley which is mainly focused on trying to prepare staff at all levels (whether a doctor or a health care assistant or other role) to provide high quality ‘core level’ care.

 

Useful links

The White House http://support4cancer.org.uk/

Compton Care https://www.comptoncare.org.uk/

Mary Stevens Hospice https://www.marystevenshospice.co.uk/