One chance to get it right

In our Debbie_Hartley_bloghouse we’ve had a recent success – my little girl has finally managed to do a backwards walkover at gymnastics. We were all so proud when she rang the bell to announce it to the rest of the club. But it’s taken a lot of hard work, practice and repeated attempts to do that, and that got me thinking… We’re lucky in our lives that there are so many things we get more than one chance to get right – exams, driving tests, jobs – to name a few.  But when it comes to dying, and caring for those we love at the end of their life, we really do only get one chance to get it right. Those memories live on with us, and that’s why we need to be able to do it right first time.

In Bury there are some things we’re doing really well, but we know there are other things we could be doing better. That’s why we’re looking at how we provide care for people not just in the last days of life, but in the last year, to try to plan ahead so that people can live as well as possible in what time remains.

We’ve got a named Clinical Lead (me!), and a project manager (Delwyn Wray), both currently sponsored by MacMillan. We’ve got a steering group, which is a group of representatives from all of the teams that contribute to your care, such as the local hospital, district nurses and specialist nurses and representatives from the voluntary and community sector, to name a few, who come together to look at ways we could work differently. But most importantly we’ve got you, the residents of Bury. Some of you have kindly given up some of your time to attend our patient and public engagement workshops (of which we’ve had two so far), to tell us what you think does and doesn’t work well, and how you might like to see things provided in future.

It’s great to see people of different ages and cultures sharing the different needs they have, but we can always use more, especially younger adults or those from different ethnic groups. It may take time and it may not be easy, but by working together we may well be able to make things even better. There will be more opportunities to get involved and to shape how things should work in the future, so, if you have an interest in this area and feel you would like to get involved, please contact Carrie Dearden in our engagement team at the CCG: caroline.dearden@nhs.net who will put you in touch.

One chance to get it right- wouldn’t it be great to do that every time.

Dr. Debbie Hartley

GP and Clinical Lead for Palliative and End of Life Care

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