End of life care charter launched

Mayor of Knowsley Cllr Edna Finneran, Mayor of Whiston Cllr David Williams, Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens Cllr Steve Glover and Cllr Lynn Glover, MP for Knowsley George Howarth, MP for St Helens South & Whiston Marie Rimmer and Chairman of Willowbrook Hospice Board of Trustees Alan Chick
Mayor of Knowsley Cllr Edna Finneran, Mayor of Whiston Cllr David Williams, Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens Cllr Steve Glover and Cllr Lynn Glover, MP for Knowsley George Howarth, MP for St Helens South & Whiston Marie Rimmer and Chairman of Willowbrook Hospice Board of Trustees Alan Chick

A charter has been launched to ensure health organisations deliver the best possible end of life care.

The St Helens and Knowsley End of Life Care Citizens Charter was officially launched in May at Willowbrook Hospice’s new Living Well building.

It has been developed for people with an advanced, progressive, incurable illness or frailty and represents the commitment of local health organisations in delivering the best possible end of life care.

The charter consists of 12 statements which outline what patients should expect when receiving care.

At its heart are four key principles which focus on: keeping the patient and their family informed and supported, information sharing with other organisations, promoting choice and control and ensuring the care is personal to the person.

Speaking at the event Dr Paula Powell, Community Consultant in Palliative Medicine and Willowbrook Hospice Clinical Lead explained the background to the development of the charter, highlighting that it represents the total care of a person and begins when, and continues as long as, it is needed.

A number of organisations have been involved in developing the charter including St Helens and Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Groups, The 5 Borough Partnership, Bridgewater Community Trust and Willowbrook Hospice.

St Helens and Knowsley Councils, St Helens and Whiston Hospitals and Healthwatch St Helens and Healthwatch Knowsley have also been involved.

The charter is currently part of an extensive education programme led by Specialist Palliative Care Teams, the Integrated Advance Care Planning team and End of Life Care facilitator across the area.

Dr Powell said: “This charter is designed to help professionals achieve best practice. It is also designed to give reassurance to those needing end of life care.

“We are hoping that everybody involved will read it and think: ‘Yes, this is how we can help people in the best way possible.’”

For further information on the St Helens and Knowsley End of Life Care Citizens Charter visit the Willowbrook Hospice website.