PATIENTS and carers have been helping to shape the future of support services in West Cheshire to improve palliative care for the terminally ill and their carers.
At a local event called ‘Dying Matters’, NHS West Cheshire clinical commissioning group spoke to patients, carers and people from the voluntary sector about their experiences with end of life services.
By collecting feedback from local people who have used the services themselves, the CCG can make changes as part of its redesign process in an effort to ensure the group is commissioning the right services to suit people in West Cheshire.
CCG chief executive Alison Lee and chairman Dr Huw Charles-Jones were present to listen to patient and carer experiences that can help to tailor the service redesign.
“We know dying is a sensitive and sometimes taboo subject that people don’t always want to talk about and recognise how important it is to get end-of- life care and palliative services right – not just for the patients but for their family and carers too,” said Ms Lee.
“We feel strongly about further improving the quality of end-of-life care and understand the need for the patient’s final wishes to be supported respectfully and with dignity.
“We also know how important it is for family and carers that we get this right.
“We aim is to support them by providing the best services for their loved one,” she added.
The event asked attendees what they thought was good about the services currently available, what improvements could be made and how and how the service could be made better in the future.
A total of 30 people attended the event, held at Ellesmere Port Civic Centre, where they were involved in a discussion facilitated by the End of Life Partnership Cheshire.
Mrs Lee added: “This event enabled those who attended to talk openly and honestly.
“We took away some positive suggestions that we will definitely look at.
“The feedback will be made into a report that will be discussed at the End of Life Care Redesign Steering Group.”
Anyone who has cared for someone who has died in the last 12 months, either after a short or a long-term illness and would like to share their experience of services available, are asked t o complete an online survey at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/NHSWCDyingMatters