Presented by: Heather Richardson, Libby Sallnow, Shaun O’Leary
Community participation in end of life care is an area of development that is of interest to many hospices in the UK as well as palliative care services in other parts of the world. For some hospices it is viewed as a natural extension to their work using volunteers; for others it represents a new approach that could improve the quality of their care – enabling them to reach more people, reduce inequities in provision and increase the scope of support and help available. There is some evidence of improved services and outcomes as a result. Even so the number of hospices in the UK that are actively engaged in participatory community partnerships is relatively low.
In the course of the workshop we are interested to explore why this is the case, whether the interest and concerns of UK hospices are shared by palliative care providers in other countries and what we can learn from each other to support and enhance community participatory partnerships in the future. New research undertaken by one of the authors confirms that hospices can play an important role in facilitating community involvement in end of life care –a premise that we will consider in the course of the workshop with due attention to other opportunities and challenges proffered by their involvement and the related tensions arising for the different stakeholders. Towards its end we will seek views about the relative value of hospices in participatory community partnerships and whether this role should be transitory or more permanent in nature.