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2009 Conference report

Compassionate Communities believes that end of life care is everyone’s concern.

This document reports on a conference convened on 26 June 2009 to start the process and initiate discussion around the implications of looking at a new model for end of life care.

Bridges, part of Murray Hall Community Trust, is a third sector organisation leading a fresh approach to end of life care in Sandwell, West Midlands.

It was awarded one of four End of Life Care and a Future Workforce grants from the NHS West Midlands Deanery Investment Plan to develop Compassionate Communities in Sandwell. The project has been initiated to support ongoing changes in end of life care.

People living longer and the falling numbers in the working age population indicate there will be a shortage of those who can provide care in years to come. Alongside this there is also a shift to people who will receive their end of life care at home rather than in an acute setting and an expected increase in the number of people living alone.

Professor Allan Kellehear, Acting Director of the Centre for Death and Dying at Bath University, and author of ‘Compassionate Cities, Public health and End of Life Care’ was delivered the keynote speech, giving his vision of a compassionate community and the steps we can take to achieve it.

Other speakers included Dr John Middleton, Director of Public Health for Sandwell PCT, and Malcolm Bailey, Chief Executive of Murray Hall Community Trust. There was also a range of contributions using poetry, stories and film to draw on our unique experiences of death, dying and loss.

The conference also provided the launching pad for recruiting Compassionate

Community Champions from individuals and organisations within Sandwell. More than 100 people attended and, as you can see from the evaluations at the end of the report, it was seen as a thought-provoking and stimulating event.

Manjula Patel

Manager of Bridges Support Service

To download your copy of the Conference Report click here

Sandwell Compassionate Communities - End Of Life Care & Support - Coping with Death and Dying - Palliative Care

Murray HallBridgesNHS West MidlandsSandwell NHS