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Dying Well Community Charter pathfinders announced

08 January 2015

The details of eight pathfinder communities, who will pioneer a public health approach to end of life care in England, have been announced by The National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) and Public Health England (PHE).

The Pathfinder communities were chosen from 23 organisations that expressed an interest, and will be supported and led by local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, health and wellbeing boards, NHS and voluntary sector providers of health and social care.

They eight chosen Pathfinder communities are:

  • St John’s Hospice, Lancaster District
  • The End of Life Partnership, Cheshire East, Cheshire West, Chester Local Authority Areas
  • Weston Hospicecare, North Somerset
  • Conscious Ageing Trust and Dorset Compassionate Community, Dorset
  • Hackney Health and Wellbeing Board, Hackney
  • Dove House Hospice, Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Birmingham Cross City (BCC) and Birmingham South Central (BSC) Clinical Commissioning Groups, Birmingham
  • Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group and Liverpool City Council, Liverpool

Pathfinders will be implementing the new 'Dying well community charter' and will receive support and resources from the NCPC and PHE to help their local community to work together to improve their response to people who are dying and those who have been bereaved.

To help support local good practice, many of the Pathfinders will also support a “buddy” from another area.

New Charter

The new Charter has been updated from “What makes a good death? A North East Charter” – produced by the NHS North East Strategic Health Authority in 2010.

It incorporates the five Priorities for Care that came from the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People (LACDP) recommendations, as well as work from the Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of General Practitioners’ 2011 End of Life Care Patient Charter.

Pathfinder applicants were required to provide evidence or confirmation of working in collaboration with a broad range of other organisations across sectors in their locality.

The 'Dying well community charter' was released in conjunction with the 'Public health approaches to end of life care toolkit', produced by Professor Allan Kellehear and Dr Aliki Karapliagkou at Middlesex University, London. This will be a useful resource for Pathfinders to use to complement the Charter.

Claire Henry, Chief Executive of the National Council for Palliative Care, commented: "We have been really heartened by the response to the Dying Well Community Charter and are absolutely delighted that eight Pathfinder areas have now been chosen. We are really looking forward to working with them, alongside Public Health England, in what promises to be a really exciting initiative."

Nuzhat Ali, Lead Older Adults, Health and Wellbeing for Public Health England, added: "Public Health England are working with multiple partners, to increase the awareness of death and dying as a public health issue across England.

"There is a promising and growing interest across England for developing public health approaches to end of life care, as evidenced by the 23 expressions of interests for Pathfinder status received by Public Health England and National Council for Palliative Care."

Public Health England is hosting a National dying well community charter networking and showcase event on 4 February for Pathfinders and communities who submitted expressions of interest - find out more information and book on the PHE website.

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