The Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care: A national framework for local action 2021-2026 (National Palliative and End of Life Care Partnership, 2021) informs us that end of life care is care that will affect everyone, the living, the dying and the bereaved.
Here at the Newcastle Hospitals we have a dedicated team consisting of admin, nursing and medical teams working within Freeman Hospital, the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, the RVI and within Newcastle Community leading and providing palliative and end of life care for patients and their relatives.
The Palliative and End of Life Care Service have the pleasure of announcing the launch of the Trust’s All Age Palliative, End of Life and Bereavement Care Strategy 2022-2027.
This five year plan highlights how we hope to continue to work together across the trust to support staff to continually improve the delivery of quality end of life care to all patients and their families and carers in Newcastle hospitals and community.
Our Strategy will focus on patients, people, partnerships, pioneers and performance – the five priorities in the Trust’s Strategic framework:
Ensuring patients receive high quality individualised palliative and end of life care.
When a patient is receiving end of life care, their comfort is always a priority for staff at Newcastle Hospitals; the wellbeing of their family and carers is also very important. It is not unusual for those important to a patient to spend many days at their bedside either at home or in hospital and there can be added stresses felt at this time.
A ‘Gift of Kindness’ can make a positive difference by providing additional comforts for families, friends and carers staying at a patient’s bedside, either at Newcastle Hospitals or in the patient’s own home
Ensuring staff have the skills to provide excellent palliative and end of life care to patients and families.
Education, support, and training underpins our Palliative Care service. Educational resources are provided, and training is offered and delivered to our colleagues within our hospitals and within our community services. We ensure our staff are confident and competent in holistic assessment of patients.
Working with local partners to promote equitable access to Palliative and End of Life Care services.
We maintain good links with our GP colleagues through joint working, education and regular meetings with GP Palliative and End of Life Care leads.
We continue to work collaboratively with our partners within the ICB including the local hospices and we provide Newcastle upon Tyne representation on the North East and North Cumbria ICS Palliative and End of Life Care Network group.
Fostering a culture of innovation and quality improvement within Palliative and End of Life Care.
Everyone approaching the end of life should be offered the chance to participate in discussions and create a personalised care plan (this is also known as and Advance Care Plan).
Many people with long term conditions or complex needs will already have a care plan and this should be updated to reflect their changing needs. These discussions should be between the person nearing the end of life, those important to them (as they wish) and their professional carers.
Our ambition reflects the national palliative and end of life care ambition that ‘Care is Coordinated’ – “I get the right help at the right time from the right people. I have a team around me who know my needs and my plans and work together to help me achieve them. I can always reach someone who will listen and respond at any time of the day or night”.
Maintaining outstanding Palliative and End of Life Care across the Trust both in our hospitals and in the community.
We aim to demonstrate that together we deliver high quality care by continuing to perform above average in all domains of the National Audit for Care at the End of Life (NACEL), a comparative audit of care delivered in hospitals across England and Wales.
We also aim to demonstrate to CQC inspectors that our care continues to be Good or Outstanding in all their domains.