Projects and partnerships

Here at St Luke’s we believe that end of life care should be readily accessible and available to all, wherever you may be. We work in partnership with a variety of local organisations to create ambassadors for end of life care to improve the quality of end of life care in that community. Some of current projects are listed below. To find out more or if you would like to get involved with any of our projects then please get in touch.

Our work with homeless communities

We’ve worked alongside a number of partner organisations in the city that are providing support for the homeless. We have trained staff and volunteers to recognise when the physical condition and behaviour of a homeless person is deteriorating and that end of life may be approaching. This was a free programme for those who worked or volunteered within the homeless community to enables them to become end of life ambassadors.

The programme covered the following topics:

  • Recognising end of life care in the homeless population
  • Primary causes of death in homeless population
  • End of life discussions with hostel residents
  • Planning ahead for end of life care
  • Information on drugs and alcohol in end of life care
  • Understanding the impact of loss
  • Bereavement support for residents and staff
  • Spiritual care in end of life care

On completion of the course, our ambassadors were able to:

  • Be able to recognise that someone may be at end of life
  • Be able to signpost to end of life services and support
  • Hold supportive conversations
  • Support people general well being through compassion

Our work with learning disabilities

We worked in partnership with Health and Social Care Services, Learning Disabilities Board (Service Users) and Commissioners within Plymouth and the surrounding areas to achieve a person-centred end of life care strategy for individuals with learning disabilities.

In partnership we work alongside local organisations and care agencies, responding to the need for equality and choice for individuals with learning disabilities at end of life.

We are currently working with:

Plymouth People First

Livewell Southwest – Community Learning Disabilities Team

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust – Learning Disabilities Team

Durnford Society

Two Trees Care Homes

Honeybourne Care Home

Plymouth City Council

NHS NEW Devon CCG

The partnership programme responds to local need but primarily has three key work streams:

  • Influencing Health and Social Care Commissioning Strategy
  • Implementing an Integrated Care Pathway
  • Educational/workforce development and raising public awareness.

Through working together as a partnership, an end of life steering group has been created. As a result of the steering group, a future end of life care plan document for individuals with learning disabilities has been launched. The visually-driven booklet supports people to think, talk about and write down how and where they would like to be cared for in the future. It also helps to inform future decision making if they are not in a position to either make and/or communicate their health or social care choices at a later date.

Personal healthcare budget training

Personal healthcare budget training

St Luke’s education department helped and guided anyone with an approved personal healthcare budgets.

A personal healthcare budget is an amount of money to support an individual’s health and wellbeing needs, which is planned and agreed between the individual and the local NHS team. The budget allows the individual to manage their healthcare and support such as treatments, equipment and personal care, in a way that suits them.

The training provided carers with the skills they need to be able to care for the individual. The training was bespoke and designed to each individual PHB clients needs.

This course not only gave carers the confidence to manage an individual’s needs, but also helped to fulfil their personal and professional development.

The bespoke training included, medicine management, basic life support, moving and handling and recognising the deteriorating adult.

Patient Centred Leadership

Our Patient Centred Leadership project brought together friends and relatives of a patient and encouraged them to become joint coordinators of end of life care. The project was initially rolled out in rural communities in East Cornwall.

The pilot included a two day programme for the nurses, which provided them with the knowledge and expertise to challenge current end of life care practices, break down the barriers that can potentially fragment care. The nurses themselves acted as role models, providing support and identifying the skills and development needs of the communities so that everyone felt that they have the strength and ability to respond to the needs of the dying person and carer.

The project enabled the nurses to:

  • Challenge accepted practices which prevent joined up care for the patient by breaking down the barriers that can fragment care.
  • Increasing levels of death literacy within the wider community.
  • Explore and use co-participation approaches such as effective eco mapping to identify and mobilise skills within carer networks to enhance patient care and choice.
  • Contribute to the development of a Patient Centred Leadership course which will seek to empower patients/carers and challenge paternalistic approaches to care.
  • Empower the team to fully support informal caring networks, acting as a role model for others.

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