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Supporting and Improving the Experience of those Living with End of Life Care Needs in the Primary Care Setting


Dying Matters Event: L-R: Professor Max Watson, Davina McAllister, Emma King, Marie Donnelly, LeeAnn Drumm, Mrs Linda Cooper, Claire-Ann Jardine Keith Kelly, Leeanne McGeady and Dr Laura McDonnell.

The Western Trust, along with key partners recently hosted a highly successful and well received event in support of ‘Dying Matters Week (8-14 May 2023). Over 100 attended from a range of statutory, voluntary, independent services and community groups.

The aim of the event held at the Mellon Country Inn, Omagh was to consider issues affecting people’s experience of end of life care in the community setting. Attendees heard from lived experiences of family members Linda Cooper and Lee-Ann Drumm to highlight the challenges, consider the current systems and processes, and map patient pathways to identify areas of good practice, as well as failings and gaps.

The inspiring event gave opportunity to demonstrate and showcase that through listening to our community, working in a coordinated, integrated and co-productive way how we have responded to improve patient and carers experience towards the end of life, through the development of quality initiatives that make a difference.

Presentation of the initiatives included the importance of advance care planning delivered by Sharon Williams from Compassionate Communities and examples of advance care planning in the nursing home setting (Davina McAllister from Parkview Private Nursing Home.

Keith Kelly, Western Trust Team Leader, District Nursing outlined the crucial role of the keyworker in supporting, coordinating and communicating care towards end of life.  The importance of timely access to end of life medications was highlighted by Consultant Pharmacist Carmel Darcy, Dr Laura McDonnell (GP) Claire-Ann Jardine (Macmillan CNS/Facilitator) and Helen McCreery (Western Trust Community Nursing) and their work on the quality initiative ‘Just in case box’ pilot was shared.  Emma Graham (Western Urgent Care) and Marie Donnelly (Macmillan Palliative Care Facilitator) described an out of hours pathway that had been developed to stream line access to timely advice / support for community nurses and timely access to prescriptions and delivery of these prescriptions to community pharmacies.

Bernie McCafferty, Trust Interim Assistant Director Intermediate care said:

“I was delighted to have been a part of this successful event and inspired by the steps that have been taken by those providing services within our Trust and with our partners to make a difference. We are constantly striving to improve the experience of those patients and their loved ones nearing end of life and our event was a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate the work progressed, but also reflect on how we can improve further.

“I would like to thank all those who organised and supported the day.”