Hammersmith & Fulham Health and Adult Social Care Policy and Accountability Committee 20 July 2022

Hammersmith and Fulham Health and Care Partnership, NHS North West London and Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust attended the Hammersmith & Fulham Health and Adult Social Care Policy and Accountability Committee 20 July 2022 to provide a briefing on the North West London community-based specialist palliative care programme and answer questions from committee members.

View the committe papers and recording of the webinar

  • The committee emphasised the need for continuity of care and integration between all services including general and specialist palliative care services and the importance of district nursing who deliver end of life care.
  • Committee members gave examples of community specialist palliative care working well and how invaluable these services were. For example, there was praise for Royal Trinity Hospice and the care they provided to a committee members partner.
  • Concerns were expressed at the continued suspension of the Pembridge Specialist Palliative Care Service in-patient beds and the wish for it to reopen asap.
  • The committee asked for reassurance that the NW London review of Community specialist Palliative Care is not a cost cutting exercise. Robyn Doran, Senior Responsible Officer for the NWL CSPC review confirmed this is NOT a cost cutting exercise.
  • Hammersmith and Fulham Save our NHS (HAFSON) advised that this project was the best example of co-production they had seen and thanked the local NHS team for setting up meetings and spending time to get things right. This comment was welcomed by those involved and noted by committee members.
  • The committee stated the importance of patients and families being empowered to look after themselves, their relatives including provision and administration of medicines if they wish and are competent to do so. The panel agreed that this is being considered as part of the model of care design for those who wish to be supported in this way.
  • Committee members stated that many people want to die at home and if that is the case it should be facilitated.  However, many people do not have families near them so the question of hospice beds will not go away.  It is therefore important that we plan for the future when there is an increase in the number of older people, more people with dementia and co-morbidities. The panel agreed that these factors had been noted and will be included in the model of care design, noting that choice should be facilitated and flexibility for people to change their minds was required.
  • The committee requested that in next paper we have an accurate picture of current staffing and where we would like to get to in next few years and how the whole system works together in an integrated way. The panel agreed that a future update would include information on workforce.
  • The committee asked for a commitment to a full consultation if there was significant service change. The panel were clear that proposals to significantly change services would require a public consultation and that the NW London team would return to PAC to discuss requirements as the future model of care proposals evolve.

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