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End of life team finalists in the Macmillan Professional Excellence Awards

22nd August 2014 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in

More than 1,300 Leicester patients have benefitted from a highly commended programme which improves the circumstances in which people reach the end of their life due to long illness.

The team behind the programme were crowned finalists earlier this month at the national Macmillan Professional Excellence Awards.

The programme which has been designed by GPs from Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is a two year programme which started in April 2013 and aims to help patients and their carers and families make the right choices in preparation for the end of their life.

The programme included the introduction of an accurate and comprehensive end of life register across the city, each GP practice now has a named end of life coordinator, each patient planning for the end of their life has a named doctor and end of life tailored care plan and this information is now shared with partners such as out of hours services and the ambulance services to ensure patient’s wishes are adhered to when they reach the end of their life and they come into the care of these services.

The number of patients now dying in their preferred place of choice and in more comfortable circumstances is 88.7%, far higher than the national average. The national average is 45 per cent.

The project was driven by a multi-talented board including representatives from East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), a community pharmacist, the CCG, LOROS hospice, Macmillan, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT), DeMontfort University, Leicester City Council and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL).

Dr Rish Prasad, Leicester City GP and lead GP on the programme at Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are delighted with the recognition for the programme which has resulted in hundreds of patients in Leicester reaching the end of their life in the place of their choosing.

“The programme was introduced after a piece of work was completed by the CCG to look at end of life care across the city. The results of which showed we were not working in the most effective way.

“Over the past 16 months we have been working with patients, carers and their families as well as with our partners in health, local authority and social care to develop and deliver an effective programme to ensure that patients have their voice heard and wishes adhered to, when they reach the end of their lifetime. Options are discussed with both the patient and their family or carer so the most appropriate decisions can be made.”

LOROS and DeMontfort University provided vital end of life and palliative training to four GP mentors to enable them to support other GPs and healthcare staff across city practices

Dr Mo Ayubi, GP Mentor at Johnson Medical centre, said: “Caring for someone at the end of their life is a sensitive and often difficult subject to discuss. There are four mentors in the city who work with the 62 practices. We work alongside GPs to support them with identifying individual patient needs, as well as their patients so that they themselves feel in control of deciding where they want to spend their final weeks and days, helping them to look at what options are available, what pain relief they may want and how to make their wishes known if they want to refuse certain treatments. It is very encouraging to have received such fantastic recognition for our work.”

End of life care is a clinical priority for Leicester City CCG and as part of an initial two year plan, which spans to 2016 the CCG is committed to more people being able to choose the care setting where their life ends.

Anyone with a terminal illness, or who is worried about a loved one with life-limiting conditions such as end stage heart or lung disease, or dementia or incurable cancer, is encouraged to talk to their GP, consultant or community nurse about the options available to them. They can also log onto the CCG website to find out more about end of life and planning care in advance via our helpful guide. For more information please visit our webpage.

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