Study day tackles end-of-life care

Recommendations for improving end-of-life care for patients will come under the spotlight during the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's annual Palliative Care Study Day, to be held at the John Innes Centre on 15 November.

Claire Henry, the NHS lead for end-of-life care and Les Storey, national lead for the Preferred Place of Care, will be among the speakers at the annual study day, which is open to health workers and associated professionals throughout the Norfolk and Waveney Cancer Network area.

Among the topics for discussion will be the importance of communication skills in palliative care. The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital was chosen as one of three pilot sites to provide advanced communication skills training for nurses involved in palliative care and this has now been shown to make a big difference for partients and their families.  Communication skills training is now mandatory for all medical students and funding is being made available to provide advanced training for nurses and other health professionals throughout the cancer network.

Sue Spooner will present the findings of a research study on end-of-life care on behalf of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee of Norfolk County Council. The report highlighted a number of shortfalls in end-of-life care which are already being addressed both nationally and locally.

Issues include resuscitation at the end of life and the need for the patients' and families' wishes to be respected and properly documented at this difficult time.

Other issues include the assessment and treatment of depression in palliative care patients, and a research study by University College London (UCL)is currently gathering evidence on the need  to 'care for the carers'.

Wednesday 2nd of November 2005 05:00:23 PM