Seeking out views on End of Life Care

In October we were pleased to take part in Healthwatch East Sussex’s Listening Tour. Healthwatch, East Sussex are an independent watchdog for health and care services across the county. The Listening Tour lasted for two weeks and captured feedback and experiences of health and care services from Eastbourne residents. As part of the event, we partnered with Healthwatch to create an End of Life Care Survey which we asked the public to complete.

What did we do?

As part of the event our Community Engagement Team, Lucy Cheshire, and Kathryn Sutter, asked 34 members of the public about their experiences of End of Life care. Our survey asked the following questions:

  1. Have you had any experience in the last 2 years of anyone close to you (family member or close friend) dying?
  2. What is your recollection of how well that person was supported at the end of their life by health and care agencies?
  3. Can you recall which agencies were involved in providing this support (e.g., GP, hospital team, hospice)?
  4. What in your view are the most important things for agencies to get right in someone’s final hours of life?
  5. Would you know how to access care at the end of life for you or a family member?

Where did we do it?

We spoke to members of the public in Eastbourne Job Centre, Beacon Shopping Centre, The Foundry and Hampden Park Library.

Why did we do it?

As a hospice we want to ensure that end of life care is available to all who need it in our catchment area. Taking part in the event was an opportunity to understand how informed our local population is about end of life care and what we need to do to ensure people’s needs and wishes at end of life are fulfilled. It was also an opportunity to speak to the wider public about our services.

What did we find out?

Some key headline findings are as follows:

  • Half of those we spoke to had had an experience of somebody close to them dying in the last two years.
  • The majority of respondents had faced the death of somebody close to them from cancer.
  • 53% of respondents who had experienced the end of life care of somebody close to them felt that the person was supported by health and care agencies very effectively or effectively.
  • At the end of life family involvement, good pain management, communication, dignity, and comfort were considered to be important things to get right.
  • 50% of those asked would know how to access end of life care.

What’s next?

We will be presenting recommendations following the research as part of Healthwatch East Sussex’s wider report on the Listening Week in Spring 2023. Watch this space for further information.

If you would like to share your experiences of end of life care with the hospice please get in touch with us using our contact page. You can feedback independently to Healthwatch East Sussex here.

Thank you to Healthwatch, East Sussex for supporting our involvement in their Listening Tour.

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