Compassionate Care at end of life – leading by example
Making a big difference to the end-of-life care of patients in hospitals across Ireland will be the focus of a one day Hospice Friendly Hospitals Conference in Limerick on Wednesday 27 April.
It marks the first time in Ireland that projects which are making a difference to the care of dying in Irish acute, maternity and children’s hospitals will be presented at a conference.
Compassion in developing palliative care in hospitals
HSE Interim National Director of Acute Services, Liam Woods said:
“Whilst we continually strive toward the delivery of excellence and quality of care systems, we cannot forget that the primary goal of all systems is to value the human being we are treating. One of our direct expressions of the value of compassionate caring is our commitment to further developing palliative and end of life care in our hospitals.”
Keynote Speaker Professor Bee Wee shares Uk framework
The NHS’s National Clinical Director for End of Life Care, Professor Bee Wee, the key note speaker at the event, will share the UK framework on how to compassionately make a difference to people’s final days. Professor Bee said: “We all want kind, compassionate, skilled and competent care when we are in hospital, even more so when we are feeling vulnerable because we are facing the fact that we are going to die within a few days, weeks or months. She added:
“The new Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care for England demonstrates how everybody can contribute to this – clinicians and other staff, volunteers, hospice and hospital managers, and individuals and groups within the wider community – and how each is needed and, at the same time, how each individual and organisation needs to recognise and appreciate others’ role and contribution.”
More than 200 health professionals from doctors, nurses, social workers are registered to attend the one day conference in the Strand Hotel, Limerick. The event is organised by the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Hospital Friendly Hospitals Programme in partnership with the HSE and the University Limerick Hospital Group.
CEO of the UL Hospital Group, Colette Cowan said she looks forward to working with the support and guidance of the IHF to further develop palliative and end of life care. University Hospital Limerick joined the Hospital Friendly Hospice Programme in 2008. She said the hospital group which includes Nenagh, Ennis and St John’s Hospitals has made great strides in improving the end of life experience for patients and their families since then. She said the new emergency department which will open at the Limerick Hospital in 2017 will contain “a serenity suite for patients and their families which will be used for patients in the emergency department who have died or are dying.”
Improving hospital care for people facing death
Irish Hospice Foundation CEO Sharon Foley said more than 40 acute, maternity and children’s hospitals throughout Ireland are now engaged with the Hospice Friendly Hospice Programme.
“The HFH Programme seeks to ensure that end of life palliative and bereavement is central to the everyday business of hospitals and we are pleased to see the leadership and investment from the HSE is support this work. The Irish Hospice Foundation is also heartened to see the recent progress that hospitals have made which have yielded improvements in care for people who are facing death, their families as well as providing support to staff and making much needed changes to the physical environment,” she said.
International speakers and delegates
Delegates already confirmed are travelling from the UK, Spain and Singapore to attend.
Dr Shaun O’Keefe who is chair of the HSE’s Working Group on Implementing the National Policy on DNAR (do-not-attempt resuscitation) will discuss the challenges in implementing this policy as well as the potential impact of forthcoming legislation on advance healthcare directives at the event. Decision making in the ICU and the perspective of bereaved relatives all play a vital role in compassionate care in hospitals. Speakers also include Dr Patrick Neligan, Medical Director Critical Care, Galway University Hospitals, and Bettina Korn and Diarmuid Ó Coimin, End of Life Coordinators from St James Hospital and Mater Hospital, Dublin. Dr Eoin Tiernan, Palliative Medicine Consultant, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, will discuss the impact of early palliative care involvement in the emergency department from the PAL.M.E.D Project.
Compassionate care is what we all want at the end of our lives
The programme includes three parallel afternoon sessions, one explores the challenges and obstacles to successful communication at end of life and will examine how comfort and confidence may be influenced by health professionals’ preparedness to discuss their own death and end-of-life care. The second session will discuss hospital transformation renovation projects (mortuaries, bereavement suites, viewing rooms) funded by the Design & Dignity Programme – this is a partnership programme between the Irish Hospice Foundation and HSE. Working in the context of death, dying and bereavement impacts on care professionals so the third session looks at practical resilience strategies and initiatives to support them deliver the compassionate care they aspire to.
IHF Head of Healthcare Programmes, Ms Marie Lynch said, “Compassionate care is what we all want at the end of our lives, this conference allows the opportunity to showcase hospital projects and research to inspire the health professionals and to accelerate the pace of improvement”
The conference is open to healthcare professionals only. CPD accreditation is available.