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Specialist Palliative Care / End of Life Care

UHMBT provides specialist palliative and end of life care both in hospital and in the Morecambe Bay community.

Specialist palliative care concentrates on the quality of life for patients with advanced, progressive illnesses and provides expert guidance on care for patients, and their families.

The team has specialist skills in pain and symptom management and provides supportive care on complex social, emotional and spiritual matters at the end of life. The team also sees patients at an earlier stage where there are persistent and complex symptom control issues.

The palliative and end of life care team are a resource of support and advice to patients and carers, and complement the work of other hospital and community colleagues. This includes the support and education of staff providing palliative care.

The Bereavement Team of UHMBT delivers practical and emotional support to bereaved relatives/friends when a patient dies in any of the UHMB hospitals, and when a person dies in the community and is referred to the Coroner following a traumatic death eg suicide, child death.

Their care is based on the SWAN model of bereavement care.

SWAN Model of end of life and bereavement care is used to support and guide the care of patients and their loved ones that we care for at the end of life and after they have died and is designed to provide support in the early days and short weeks following bereavement.  The bereavement support may begin in an acute setting prior to death if necessary.

The service co-ordinates completion of Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and cremation papers following a death in hospital. The service will meet the family and ensure that they understand the cause of death as written on the certificate, answer questions and elicit any concerns about the care and help to address these promptly.

The service provides verbal and written information and practical support such as advice on arranging a funeral, information on who to inform of a death, how to register a death, help with contacting other family members and information on what to do with equipment and medication.

The service will signpost on to other local and web based bereavement services should longer term support be required.

Feedback regarding end of life care is gathered from all bereaved families using the End of Life Care Experience survey which is used to guide service improvement and highlight any educational requirements for staff.

Bereavement training programmes (including tissue donation and nurse verification of expected death) are delivered by the Bereavement Specialist Nursing team.