I attended a recent workshop to discuss these issues which was organised by the Palliative and End of Life Care National Advisory Group. The participants came from a range of organisations – NHS practitioners, voluntary sector, government and care homes.
We discussed five key questions:
- What have been the key achievements in the delivery of palliative and end of life care in Scotland since the publication of Living and Dying Well in 2008?
- What do you see as being the main priorities and objectives to improve palliative and end of life care in Scotland over the next 5 years and beyond?
- What are the most significant challenges to delivering improvements in a) access; b) quality of palliative and end of life care in Scotland in the future?
- How can we support these improvements a) in access; b) in quality of care
- What matters to you if time were to become short?
A number of the themes which emerged have been echoed in discussion which FiOP has enabled including:
- Having the ‘conversation’ and being confident in talking about death and dying
- Destigmatise death, dying and bereavement
- Culture specific responses
- Ensuring that spiritual care is available and that this is understood
- Must be person-centred and enabling the individual to be in as much control as possible
- Flexible approach allowing individual choices
These themes are consistently discussed and acknowledged as being critically important so why is it so difficult to embed them in practice not just in relation to end of life care but all care?
Edinburgh Roadshow Summary Report