Improving palliative care services for everyone living with advanced progressive illnesses in Northern Ireland was in the spotlight at a workshop today funded by the Public Health Agency.
Representatives from primary and secondary care, out of hours, unscheduled care, specialist services and the ambulance service discussed how care can be improved for people with life-limiting diseases at the ‘Living Matters, Dying Matters: Where Matters – Transforming Palliative Care’ Workshop in Lisburn.
The event, hosted by the Northern Ireland Hospice and Marie Curie Cancer Care, in partnership with the Public Health Agency (PHA), provided an opportunity for all providers of palliative and end of life care to consider future service delivery models.
Corrina Grimes, Allied Health Professions Consultant, PHA, said: “Good palliative and end of life care is an important part of our health and social care services. Today’s workshop analysed the key issues and proposed solutions to improve palliative care and how specialist palliative care can support primary, community, secondary and independent care.”
Corrina continued: “It has been encouraging to see the plans being taken forward by the Health and Social Care Trusts in partnership with local hospices and other providers, and that local people have been involved.
“We aim to ensure that people receiving palliative care, their families and carers, are provided with high quality care across all settings and conditions, and are supported to enjoy a good quality of life, maximising their potential through the course of their illness.
“There is still some progress to be made within the context of the review of health and social services. We are looking for statutory and voluntary services to work together to make a significant difference in improving access to high quality services for those with life-limiting conditions, and to develop innovative approaches to care.
“A key focus of the workshop today was how we could do this and work together, across organisational boundaries, to enhance the quality of care at the end of life for all service users. We addressed both national and regional contexts and the experience and expertise gathered will be used to shape further action that will aim to improve services, information and support for palliative care services in Northern Ireland.”
Professor Dame Judith Hill, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Hospice, said: “Improving access to high quality palliative care services needs an integrated approach across sectors to maximise the contribution of all providers. Today’s event has enabled a sharing of good practice and the opportunity to develop solutions which will make a real difference to people in need of palliative care and their families.”
Contact the PHA Press Office on 028 90553663