The End of Life Partnership has been formed from three existing work streams – Cheshire Hospices Education, Cheshire Living Well Dying Well, and Cheshire End of Life Care Service Model – as well as introducing a further programme specifically focussed on research and evaluation.
The overall aim of the partnership is to “transform end of life experience and care”, to create a more complete and holistic approach to living well, death and loss.
This means not just working alongside organisations and staff that deliver care to promote excellence and compassion in end of life and palliative care, but also normalising natural death, dying and loss, and helping people to live well now and for as long as possible.
The launch event was attended by over 100 people from across, and beyond, Cheshire – from a range of community groups, NHS trusts, clinical commissioning groups, hospices, local authorities, public health, universities, the WI and many other organisations.
The event was chaired by Professor Pauline Ong, Professor of Health Services Research at Keele University and Chair of the new Partnership. Professor Ong sums up the Partnership as “bringing together people and organisations that are passionate about making the experience of dying as good as possible.”
Salli Jeynes, Chief Executive of the Partnership, spoke about the how the partnership can achieve the goals of de-mystifying death and dying, encouraging people to think about, discuss and share their future wishes, and also increasing the skills, knowledge and confidence of care workers.
The new organisation will be listening to communities and working together with partner organisations to create a shared vision across organisational boundaries, and will be flexible, innovative and responsive in its approach.
The keynote speaker was Dr Bee Wee, National Clinical Director for End of Life Care for NHS England. Bee spoke about going beyond the standards, guidelines and pathways, to find out what ‘good care’ in the last days of life really looks like and referred to the new national vision of a ‘house of care’, where the goal is a person-centred and coordinated service.
There were short presentations from the heads of programmes of the new organisation, speaking about their goals for the future and also from people who had previously been involved with different aspects of the work. The latter gave moving and informative examples of how their professional or personal lives had been changed as a result.
Feedback from the event has been very positive, with one attendee saying that “it is a great privilege to be part of the new organisation and so good to see everyone working together to make the day such a success. It made a great start to the EoLP’s very promising future!”
For further information, the Partnership has a new website in progress at www.eolp.org.uk