Pioneering end of life centre to be launched

15 August 2011
As a national report calls for urgent action to improve end of life care, a new centre to promote excellence in the support and care of people with advanced illnesses is to be launched at De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester next month.

DMU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and the Leicestershire and Rutland Hospice (LOROS) are working in partnership to create the Centre for the Promotion of Excellence in Palliative Care (CPEP). It is believed to be the only centre of its kind where a university is linking directly with a hospice.

Last week the report ‘No Dress Rehearsals’ by the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) and the Dying Matters Coalition showed that serious cases of neglect and ill-treatment are still being uncovered.

It reported seven out of 10 people saying they would like to die at home but more than half die in hospitals, even though many had no medical need to be there.

The new centre aims to enhance the skills and knowledge of practitioners dealing with people with advanced illnesses and to make sure that they are given respect and dignity in the last stages of their lives.

The importance of palliative and end of life care has been recognised in a number of Government publications including the End of Life Care Strategy which was published in 2008. DMU and LOROS will not only work together to provide education to professionals from the health and social care sector but also volunteers and other staff who deal with advanced illnesses. They will also carry out research to improve care and practice development in the future.

The joint partnership will start with DMU’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard and Chief Executive of LOROS, Simon Proffitt, signing a letter of cooperation on Wednesday (17 August).

Angela North-Rose, head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “This is a fantastic and exciting partnership that will provide a unique centre of excellence as a base for key practitioners from LOROS and other health care organisations to work alongside academics on joint education and research activities for the benefit of patients.

“The key priorities identified in the report will form part of the work of this centre.”

Simon Proffitt said: “I very much welcome this opportunity for LOROS to forge even closer links with DMU and through this partnership improve the quality of care for patients with life limiting illnesses.”

Eve Richardson, chief executive of the National Council for Palliative Care and the Dying Matters Coalition, said: "I am delighted that this innovative partnership has at its heart promoting excellence in palliative care. We only get one chance to get end of life care right for people who are dying, which is why high quality end of life care and support must be available for all those who need it, where and when they need it."

DMU and LOROS already offer joint education for palliative care professionals, including an MSc in Palliative Care.


NCPC and Dying Matters call for new deal for the dying

End of Life Care Strategy

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