Better end-of-life care priority for NHS

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ADULT Social Care and the NHS have joined forces to help people get the best care available, where they want, at the end of their lives.

Dying Matters Awareness Week aims to highlight the work being taken forward in East Sussex around these sensitive issues.

It is part of a national campaign, organised by the Dying Matters Coalition, a group of public sector and private organisations and others, who want people to discuss death and bereavement and plan ahead for what is a difficult time.

Adult Social Care is working with the NHS to achieve this and ensure staff have the right training and skills to work with individuals, their families and carers.

Keith Hinkley, director of Adult Social Care, said, “We are pleased to support the Dying Matters Campaign.

“We have been working with our colleagues in the NHS for the past 18 months to improve the quality of end-of- life care and ensure people have a choice in how and where they are cared for.”

Sarah Blow, East Sussex area director, Sussex Primary Care Trust Cluster, added, “End-of-life care is a priority for the local NHS. We are investing significantly in community services to support people, their families and carers.”

Some of the areas where the council and NHS are working as partners include:

* Raising awareness of issues relating to end-of-life care among health and social care professionals;

* Training health and social care staff to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver good quality end-of- life care;

* Working with care homes to support enhanced end-of-life care for residents and where appropriate avoid admission to hospital;

* Ensuring that, where possible, care at end of life is planned in advance.

Hilary Fisher, director of the Dying Matters Coalition, said, “This is an important part of helping to raise awareness about the need to openly discuss dying and death.

“Every minute someone in England dies, but many people still feel uncomfortable talking about end of life issues.

“Everyone deserves a good death, and this is more likely to be achieved if we discuss it early on.

“Talking about dying and death is in everybody’s interests as it can help ensure that all of us can get the care we want, where we want it at the end of our lives”