Think different, think end of life care

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Staffordshire created the 'Think Different, Think End of Life Care' report predominantly to answer the main research question of "What are the barriers to a consistent, holistic approach to End of Life Care (EoLC) through multi-disciplinary collaboration?" After a public consultation, it was identified that End of Life Care (EoLC) was a priority for Healthwatch Staffordshire to focus their work on in 2017. The project was arranged and three task and finish groups undertook the work. These groups covered Advance Care Planning (ACP), Workforce Development and Pre and Post Bereavement Support. Findings of the Advance Care Planning group included: - The expectation that advance care plans must be completed is said to turn it into a meaningless, bureaucratic exercise for staff. - Even though staff have been provided with training, not all staff feel confident enough to have conversations about ACP. - Many individuals have no idea what ACP is, and therefore, have never thought about having one. Findings of the Workforce Development group included: - The cost of training staff members is currently too high to meet due to the reduction of funding across health sectors. The reduction in funding pots across the county mean that health services have less money to put towards training needs. - Staff workloads can also mean that they do not have the time to commit to training needs. This commonly results in cancellations or dropouts for training in order to prioritise service delivery. Findings of the Pre and Post Bereavement Support group included: - Some participants reported that the support that they received was not individualised and did not take into account the personal wants and needs - The bereavement support is only known to next-of kin due to their connection to the hospices. Therefore, only people who have accessed the hospice for a dying relative have any awareness of bereavement support. This is not always the case for people who have had family members who died outside the care of a hospice - While staff felt that the services they provided in hospices was good, external factors and resources make it difficult for pre and post bereavement to become consistent. There are 4 detailed recommendations included in the report under the following headings: 1. Bring ACP out of EoL and into public domain. 2. Recognition of skills and value of bereavement service. 3. Being able to release workforce to attend training. 4. Utilising shared online systems The final part of this report are of the form of a sales brochure, selling various services that Healthwatch Staffordshire can provide, including pricing.

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General details

Report title 
Think different, think end of life care
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Staffordshire
Healthwatch Walsall
Healthwatch Wolverhampton
Date of publication 
Monday, 1 May, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Cost of services
Information providing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Healthwatch Walsall, Healthwatch Wolverhampton, Engaging Communities, Acorns Childrens Hospice, Compton Hospice, University Hospital of North Midlands NHS Trust, Alzheimer's Society, DougieMac, Beth Johnson, The Donna Louise Children's Hospice, MRS.
Primary research method used 
Deliberative event
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Hospice services
Hospice services at home

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Care / support workers
Service manager
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Not known
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.