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How to support individuals with palliative and end of life care needs

How to support individuals with palliative and end of life care needs

How to support individuals with palliative and end of life care needs

Friday, December 20, 2019

The Frontline Network recently sat down with Andrew Knee, Palliative Care Coordinator at St Mungo’s, to understand how to support individuals who are at risk of death or in need of bereavement support.

You can learn more about the Palliative Care St Mungo’s provide, and how to support individuals who are at risk of death or in need of bereavement support, by watching the conference presentation here.

In November, Andrew presented the St Mungo’s Pathway model at the Brighton & Hove Frontline Network Homelessness and Health Conference, as well as discussing how this service could work in Brighton. Here are his findings:

Brighton is a fabulous place with the charm of a seaside town and the vibrant life of a big city. However, many individuals who experience street-homelessness in Brighton may suffer from tri-morbidity; a co-occurring disorder (mental health, substance misuse) with a chronic medical condition.

This often creates a barrier to accessing primary and secondary care. Many of these needs are met by specialist support: but what about those individuals who are experiencing homelessness with palliative and end of life care needs?


To make a change

Kate Standing, the Brighton & Hove Frontline Network Coordinator from Justlife (Frontline Network Partner), reached out to discuss the growing need to support those who are experiencing homelessness and have been identified as end of life. Kate championed the fantastic work that Caterina Speight and Gregg Lock from the Sussex Community NHS Trust Homeless Team was doing with Helen Lyons from the Martlets Hospice. Within this meeting we discussed the possibility of how to create a pathway model in the city.


The Conference with passion

The Homelessness & Health conference was full of energy and enthusiasm from professionals who really want to make a change for those experiencing homelessness. Individuals attended with a wide range of expertise, which highlighted the many issues those we support face. There were fantastic discussions around physical health, mental health, and substance misuse (tri-morbidity).

For the End of Life and Palliative Care workshop Caterina lead the way with explaining who the Homeless Team from the Trust is and what support they are providing to the city. Helen Lyons, Senior Nurse in Palliative Care at The Martlets, was able to beautifully convey the support that a hospice can provide and to demystify that it is about affirming life, not death.

Gregg Lock took to the stage and presented a case study which detailed a client’s multiple issues and needs. This part of the workshop became more interactive, as each table was asked to identify what the barriers would be to providing palliative care. The room became alive with conversations, debates, and own personal experiences.

My presentation discussed what a Palliative Care and End of Life Care Pathway model looks like, and detailed the stages that someone will move through, and the support that will be provided. The purpose of this workshop was to emphasise communication and collaboration. We cannot do everything on our own and we are all in this together.

For additional information on palliative and end of life care needs, please explore the several related resources on our website.

If you are a frontline worker and have any further queries in relation to this subject, please do not hesitate to email:  frontline@stmartincharity.org.uk.


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