The Committee received a report that provided an update on a focused piece of work that had commenced in North West London to improve the quality, equity and experience of community-based specialist palliative care and support residents and their family/ carers received, as well as the sustainability of their services. The report was presented in brief by the Chief Executive for London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust who highlighted the following:
· The remit of this consultation had not included hospital or children’s palliative care; however, it had included specialist community palliative care. It was crucial that this work addressed inequalities and that initial data suggested that there were inequalities to be addressed.
· 49% of patients had passed away in hospital and that the opportunity for place of death to be chosen should be improved. Services needed to be appropriately placed and that this could be different for each community. In addition, it was important that voices would be heard during the consultation.
The Chair thanked them for the presentation and opened the floor to questions from the Committee which were answered as follows:
· A Member highlighted that there had been a strong desire from residents to be engaged in this consultation and asked if Pembridge Hospice had been considered to be re-opened. In addition, it was suggested by the Member that within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea there had been an imbalance in health-equality and asked how health inequalities could be tackled. The Chief Executive for London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust explained that inequality was a key part of the work and that engagement had to be widespread. In regard to Pembridge Hospice, it would be too early to say and that there was a need for a consultation to be conducted before decisions were made.
· A Member raised concern that the paper lacked consideration of demographics, such as those who were isolated, elderly or disabled. In addition, dementia was something that could have been addressed further in the report. It was felt that other services should have been included for the report to have been more comprehensive. equality and so asked how health inequalities would be tackled. The Chief Executive for London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust explained that there had been concern that had the scope of the report been too large, the delivery could be hindered.
· Workforce challenges and the need for an accurate workforce plan were also raised by the Member, to which the Chief Executive for London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust agreed that workforce planning was important, however, there had been the intention for the service to be designed around patients and for a workforce to be designed to complement that required service.
· Further details were requested on how cultural differences were to be tackled. The Chief Executive for London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust noted that work needed to be done on cultural and religious beliefs when it came to palliative care and for the needs of communities to be met.
The Chair thanked health colleagues for their responses and closed the discussion. The Committee were invited to make recommendations with the following:
As well as recommendations, a number of requests for information were made during the discussion, recorded as follows:
i. Further information to be provided to the JHOSC on demographics including dementia support.