2 April 2014
Over 70 healthcare professionals across Dudley have been trained as Palliative Care Champions thanks to a new scheme developed by Macmillan Cancer Support, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust and The Mary Stevens Hospice.
Karen Lewis is the Macmillan Palliative Care Educator in Dudley and she has been working to identify what the needs are for palliative education training for healthcare professionals. She has put together a standard framework, training and education courses and resources to meet that need.
Karen says: 'Before my role with Macmillan I was a District Nurse Practice Teacher. Unfortunately I lost my mother in 2006 and did not have a good experience which is what inspired me to take on this role: I really wanted to make a difference to others going through such a difficult time.'
Karen added: 'End-of-life care in Dudley is delivered by a number of different agencies: health, social care, the voluntary sector and private agencies. I want to ensure they are supported to complete training in end-of-life care which will mean they feel confident in their skills and that patients will have a better experience, receiving a high standard of care. The response so far has been fantastic, to have over 70 champions already is a great start and I'm eager to roll the programme out further.'
Tudor Humphreys, Macmillan's Development Manager for Dudley says: 'The number of people being diagnosed with cancer is set to double to four million by 2030, and while survival rates are improving, which is great, the sad truth is that approximately half of adults will not live for five years or more after a cancer diagnosis so it is essential we ensure the best standard of palliative care across healthcare services.
'Macmillan want to ensure people who are nearing the end of their life receive well-coordinated and planned care so that they can die in the place and in the way that they choose. This starts with ensuring that those delivering their care are properly educated so they can provide the highest standard of care possible. That’s why the work Karen is undertaking is so important.'
Find out more about Macmillan's end of life care campaign.