Our End Of Life Care Network Forum

Here we hear from Deirdre Brunton, Chair of the Trust’s End of Life Care Network Forum:

I feel it’s important to give you some more information about who we are, what we do, what we’ve achieved so far and what’s next for us.  

Good end of life care matters to all of usbecause there is only one chance to get it right for the individual.  How we die will live on in the memories of those who live on.

So what exactly is The End of Life Care Network Forum?

The forum was set up to advise and offer direction on the operational and strategic direction of End-of-Life Care within St Monica Trust. It’s purpose is to assist staff in maintaining high standards of end of life care for residents, their relatives, and friends.

As well as Deirdre, the group is made up of colleague representatives across the Trust from our nursing and care, training, pastoral care, colleague engagement and quality teams as well as a care home manager. Essentially, like-minded colleagues who share information ideas and resources to proactively support the End Of Life Care Policy and its implementation.

What has been achieved by the EOL Network Forum so far ?

You might remember that Dying Matters Week ran for a week back in May this year. Thank you to everyone involved.  So many positive developments in the field of end of life care were shared during that week, including:

https://vimeo.com/543696462

The creation of an Advance care planning booklet created by Sarah Saunders, Lead Nurse at John Wills House, who wants to stop the subject of dying being such a taboo.  This helpful resource is not only for nurses, but also for senior carers, enabling them to document residents’ wishes at the end of their life. 

Loss and Bereavement Training sessions and Peer support sessions,centering on loss and bereavement, mental health and end of life care, were delivered by myself and Anna Cygan.

Amongst other things, as a result of Dying Matters week:

A number of staff from Severn at Charterhouse came forward to undertake the Level 2 Certificate: The Principles of End of Life Care in September.  This is an intensive distance-learning course, undertaken over a 3 month period, ideal for anyone working in social care. 

Eight more Mouthcare Champions have been recruited to share their passion for good oral care and to help share their knowledge with other colleagues, in line with our Mouthcare Policy.  Research shows that regular effective mouthcare can improve residents’ overall health and well-being. (Locker et al, 2002). 

A wonderful “bucket list wish tree” was set up in Garden House to try to make their residents’ wishes come true, thanks to  Lucie Linton and the Garden House team. It’s helping residents to look to the future with hope and for them to live their life to the fullest. The dream list include activities such as skydiving, going to Antarctica and some more practical wishes like going to the pub or playing a game of golf.

So what’s next?

Dying Matters is just one aspect of the End of Life (EOL) care Network Forum, the group will continue their work on implementation of  the EOL Care , Care after Death, and Mouthcare Policies. 

Our next steps are to identify what the role of an End of Life Care Champion could be for the future. 

If you’d like to find out more, please contact: Deirdre.brunton@stmonicatrust.org.uk