St Catherine’s conference to raise awareness of personalised end-of-life care plans
Sensitive subjects centred around planning for the end of life are set to be discussed during a special conference for health and social care professionals at St Catherine’s Hospice.
A parent’s experience, creating a personal care plan for your final days, and legal considerations will all form part of the important conference titled: ‘There’s something I’ve been dying to tell you’.
The day, which will include a number of national guest speakers from healthcare professionals and solicitors, to hospice patients and family members, aims to raise awareness of the need for people to open up about their end-of-life wishes.
An innovative end-of-life plan called the ‘one page profile’, developed by former St Catherine’s patient Max Neill, has inspired the charity to share learning from his experience with other health professionals from a wide range of disciplines such as palliative care, GPs, district nurses and care homes.
A social media handle has been created – #MaxEOLC – representing Max’s contribution to End Of Life Care. The hashtag allows people from across the country to join in conversations online about ‘Advance Care Planning’, and helps raise awareness about these important issues.
Lynn Kelly, director of knowledge exchange services at St Catherine’s, explained: “Advance care planning is well embedded within hospice care, but we learnt such a lot from Max who felt that some of the tools often used by health professionals weren’t as person-centred as they could be.
“Max had worked in a learning disabilities environment and used principles from there to develop his ‘one page profile’, so we’ve invited an expert from that sector to speak at the conference and look at how we can use their person-centred approach in our own advance care planning practice.
“Conversations about death and dying can be difficult, upsetting and scary, but it is an important part of planning for end-of-life care, and it provides reassurance to everyone involved that the steps being taken are in line with what a person has requested.”
Dad-of-four Max, from Broadgate, Preston, was part of a group working on the unique template for end-of-life care, writing down his wishes for his final months, weeks, days and hours, and outlining how he hoped to be remembered.
He died earlier this year from bowel cancer, aged 49, and St Catherine’s is continuing his legacy by launching the conference and bringing together members of the focus group to teach others about the process.
Dr Claire Capewell, consultant in palliative medicine at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who also works at St Catherine’s Hospice, worked with Max as he developed his one page profile.
“When Max shared his concept with me, I thought it was fantastic,” she said. “It’s not easy to have discussions about end-of-life plans, but we know that having them increases the likelihood of the wishes being known and respected.
“I have felt inspired by Max’s plan to look at my current practices to see how his ideas can be developed to benefit others.”
Experts from St Catherine’s will talk about ways to ‘start the conversation’ at the conference, and other topics covered on the day will include ‘Legal Matters: Planning for the Future’ and ‘A patient’s perspective’, as well as talks covering a parent’s experience, bereavement and organ donation.
The conference will be held on Friday, October 21 at the hospice in Lostock Hall, Lancashire. It costs £50 to attend, including lunch and refreshments. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01772 629171, or click here to find out more and to book a place.
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